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27th Mar 2019

Over 2,300 women are still waiting on repeat smear test results

Jade Hayden

Over 2,300 women are still waiting on their repeat smear test results.

Quest, the laboratory used by cervical cancer screening programme CervicalCheck, has re-tested seven percent of repeat smears since almost 5,000 women were invited to have their results re-checked earlier this year.

Just 200 results have been sent to women since this time.

RTE News reports that 2,370 women are still waiting on their results after being told they would receive them within 4-6 weeks.

A statement from the HSE and CervicalCheck said that Quest have said that rest of the results should be issued within the next two weeks.

The delay is due to an “information technology system” for processing the results, which took longer than the screening programme had anticipated.

CervicalCheck was facing a backlog of approximately 87,000 tests in January.

The programme was experiencing the backlog of slides following a considerable increase in samples taken last year.

It is estimated that the CervicalCheck scandal, in which over 200 women were given false negative results, led to an additional 9,000 women opting for a free smear test.

In January, thousands of women were offered further repeat tests due to a confusion between CervicalCheck and the laboratories.

Many of the samples had been rendered invalid because they had not been tested within a 30 day time period.
The confusion was a separate issue to the enormous backlog of samples due the introduction of a free smear test last year following the CervicalCheck scandal.