12/06/2018

Women Recalled For Cervical Smears

150 women have been recalled over "possible shortcomings" in their cervical smears, according to the Public Health Agency (PHA).

The tests were carried out by one healthcare worker at two doctors' practices.

One practice is in Belfast and the other is in Newtownabbey.

Dr Tracy Owen at the PHA said: "We understand that the women who are receiving these letters may be anxious, but we would like to reassure them that this is a precautionary measure and would urge them to accept the invitation for a repeat test."

Around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said: "The priority must be to ensure those affected receive a cervical smear test as soon as possible.
News Image
"This is a very distressing situation for the women involved particularly in the context of the recent cervical screening scandal in the south.

"It is important affected patients do not face undue delay and all 150 tests are redone as a matter of urgency.

"The Department of Health and the Trust must be open and transparent in how they manage this recall and on how this situation has come about."

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw said: "While it is the right thing for the Public Health Agency to step in, this is a wider issue because it affects the general public's confidence in diagnostics and testing.

"I would call on the Department to provide assurance that procedures are being carried out correctly, particularly in cases where take-up is low already. If no such assurance can be provided, then an urgent review is needed to ensure that any mistakes are corrected immediately, and thus that public confidence is not further eroded."

(CD/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 April 2018
Schools Recognised For 'Exceptional Pastoral Care'
A number of schools have been recognised for their exceptional pastoral care at an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Education and the Public Health Agency (PHA).
10 June 2013
NI Women Urged To Take Up Cervical Screening Invite
Women in Northern Ireland are too slow to take up invites for cervical screening, amounting to the highest incidence levels in the UK for cervical cancer. The UK’s only dedicated cervical cancer charity, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, is urging women in Northern Ireland to have regular cervical screening tests.
22 September 2017
Serious Concerns Raised Over Roads Maintenance Budget
The SDLP and Alliance have expressed serious concerns after it was revealed that the NI Roads Maintenance budget for this year is to run out next month. SDLP Infrastructure Spokesperson and West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has called on political parties to forge an agreement.
21 January 2013
One In Four Women Miss Cancer Tests
One in four women in Northern Ireland fail to get screened for cervical cancer, according to the UK’s only dedicated cervical cancer charity. Jo’s Trust have released the statistics to mark the launch of national Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which runs from 20 – 26 January.
31 January 2013
New Cervical Screening Test Will Benefit Women
Testing for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) will bring real benefits to women. That was the message from the Health Minister as he announced that a test for HPV has now been incorporated within the Northern Ireland Cervical Cancer Screening Programme.