From a letter a woman received yesterday informing her she needed to have a repeat smear test
On Friday last.
The HSE sent out letters to 6,000 women informing them they needed to have a repeat smear test.
These 6,000 women would have initially tested positive for low-grade abnormalities after having a smear and would have then been subsequently advised to have an additional HPV test within 30 days of the initial smear test.
But their additional HPV test was tested – by Quest Laboratories – beyond the 30-day limit.
The practice of being advised to have an additional HPV test, on foot of a test showing up low-grade abnormalities, began in Ireland in 2015.
But the acting Clinical Director of the HSE’s cervical screening programme Peter McKenna said recently that the problem was only detected at the end of November last, while the scale of the problem unfolded in December.
A letter informing one of the 6,000 women she needs to go for a repeat smear after having her initial test in the summer of 2016, above, includes the lines:
“We appreciate that you may have initially become aware of this issue in the media and we apologise for this. This was not our intention.
“We would like to offer our sincere apologies for what has happened and for any inconvenience that this may cause for you. I assure you that we are working with the lab in question to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Previously: CervicalCheck And 6,000 Letters