Cervical screening programme to resume from July, says HSE 1 month ago

Cervical screening programme to resume from July, says HSE

The national screening programme has been suspended since March.

CervicalCheck will resume in July, the HSE has confirmed.

The national cervical screening programme had been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the HSE has said it hopes to clear the backlog of tests by October.

RTÉ News reports that Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer, said today that letters will be issued to patients in priority groups from July 6.

Tests using the new HPV screening pathway will commence the follow week.

CervicalCheck was suspended on March 27 along with multiple other cancer screening services including BreastCheck and BowelCheck.

Dr Henry said that he is hopeful breast and bowel screenings could resume from September. He added that addressing the former is "complicated" due to the congregated nature of the test centres.

The government's handling of issues surrounding the resuming of cervical screenings was criticised by the Well Woman Centre recently. 

Spokespeople from clinic said that they were "deeply concerned" that a date had not yet been reached regarding the reopening of CervicalCheck's services.

Dr Shirley McQuade, Well Woman’s Medical Director, said that their clinics had experienced "growing numbers of women contacting us in recent weeks, anxious to arrange their smear appointment."

“We are deeply concerned over the adverse health impact on women of the ongoing suspension of cervical screening nationally," she said.

"We are pleased to be working with CervicalCheck in helping get the cervical screening programme up and running again, but a date for a national roll-out is urgently required."