Woman ‘left in the dark’ over smear test recall

A YOUNG pregnant woman has been left in a state of anxiety after she received a letter asking her to retake a smear test as part of the Western Trust’s Cervical Smear Tests Review.
The woman is one of the 61 women from the Western Trust area who have been asked to re-take a smear test following a review of a number of tests done between April 2018 and June 2018.
The woman who wished not be named told the Herald she received the letter months after having a smear and has since become pregnant.
“The letter simply stated that I should go back to my doctors for a smear test. I am now pregnant so I am no longer able to get a smear so I can not even retake the test and no one can even confirm if my test was one that had not been done properly or not.
I was very confused as I had just been in during the summer. It is an extremely concerning time for myself and all of the women impacted by the recall.”
The women affected by the review have received letters inviting them to contact their GP to arrange a repeat smear test, following a review which 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.
The Fermanagh woman is hopeful that a mistake has been made, and has visited her GP to discuss what happens next.
“When I called the receptionist they said the letter must have been a mistake.
“After contacting the doctor since seeing their was problems I was told that I am best coming back in for a smear.
“I felt I was being deceived as no one would admit there had been a problem and avoiding answering my questions about the mistakes.
“I haven’t received any further contact and found information available to us very limited.”
The review was announced at the start of February when Dr Dermot Hughes, medical director of the Western Trust, advised the repeat test as a precautionary measure, and explained that this does not necessarily mean that the results of their initial test was wrong.
“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,” he said.
“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.”

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