'Why are you waiting so long?': Cervical cancer survivor frustrated with wait for audit results

'Why are you waiting so long?': Cervical cancer survivor frustrated with wait for audit results
Lorraine Walsh

The HSE says the results of an independent audit of women's cervical smears will be delivered in an honest and compassionate manner.

There is mounting frustration amongst cervical cancer survivors awaiting the results of the Expert Panel review.

They are due to be issued with individual reports in September which may indicate whether their cancer was preventable, or if they would have benefitted from earlier intervention.

Over 1,000 women consented to the audit since last year but it is still not known how they will be informed.

Lorraine Walsh from the group 221+ wants the team leading the review to consult with the women now.

"They have said that they are going to communicate one month prior to the disclosure process, I'm saying to them why are you waiting so long?" said Ms Walsh.

Why not do it now? Why not explain to the women what they can expect to be told and how they are going to be told and when they are going to be told?

"People just want to know. It's so unfair to be sitting at home and the only place that you're actually getting information is through the press."

Ms Walsh also said that the women should be asked how they want to receive the news.

"It's not a 'one size fits all' and it's about empowering women to say 'I can decide how I would like to be communicated to in the way that I feel is most appropriate for me'," said Ms Walsh.

"This is just taking on board what happened last year and how upsetting these meetings were for people in the 221 group.

"It's trying to learn from that."

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