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Majority of women smear test recalls in western area

A TOTAL of 61 women from the Western Trust area have been asked to re-take a smear test following a review of a number of tests done between April 2018 and June 2018. 
As a result of the review, a total of 86 women have been asked to arrange repeat smear tests with their GP – 61 from the Western Trust area, eight from Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas and 17 from the Republic . 
The women affected will have received letters inviting them to contact their GP to arrange a repeat smear test.
This review was carried out after differences in the reporting of a number of tests were identified during routine performance checks conducted at the Trust’s Pathology Laboratory.
A cervical screening is a way of detecting abnormal cells in the cervix. Finding and removing abnormal cells early can help prevent cervical cancer, and women aged 25 to 64 who are registered with a GP are automatically invited for a cervical screening.
Local councillor Debbie Coyle has urged those impacted to get in touch with their GP.
“It is concerning, but on the plus side, it has been identified and the women impacted have been contacted and I would urge anybody who got a letter to get it done as soon as possible. 
“If you have got a letter about this, do not panic over it – it does not mean that anyone has anything wrong but the earlier the test is redone, the better.”
Dr Dermot Hughes, medical director of the Western Trust advised the repeat test is a precautionary measure, and explained that this does not necessarily mean that the results of their initial test was wrong.
“I understand that this may cause worry and inconvenience for the women affected and I sincerely apologise for this. I would like to reassure everyone that the samples that were reviewed were a small percentage of those screened and reported between April 2018 and June 2018. The stringent quality checks that are in place have reassured us that it was only a certain number of tests within this timeframe that were required to be re-examined.”
The Western Trust has advised the affected women that if they have any concerns or want further information, contact the Western Trust’s Laboratory Department on 028 7161 1350, from Tuesday February 5th to Wednesday February 13th between 9am to 5pm.
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