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86 women asked to repeat cervical smear tests in North, including 17 from Republic

The Northern Ireland Cervical Screening Programme has asked 86 women to arrange a repeat smear following a review of cervical smear tests between April 2018 and June 2018.

Of the women affected, 17 are from the Republic of Ireland. These tests are not part of the CervicalCheck programme.

A further 61 of them are from the Western Trust area and eight women from the Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas.

File photo.

The affected women have been asked to arrange a repeat smear test within the next four weeks.

"The women affected will have received letters inviting them to contact their GP to arrange a repeat smear test," said Dr Dermot Hughes, Medical Director of the Western Trust.

"This does not necessarily mean that the results of their initial test was wrong; the repeat test is a precautionary measure to provide reassurance that all women are being followed up appropriately.

"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 Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) reviewed the tests after variances in the reporting of a number of tests were identified during routine performance checks conducted at the Trust’s Pathology Laboratory.

The quality checks are carried out every three months, in line with UK best practice.

The Western Trust has advised the affected women that if they have any concerns or want further information, they should contact the Western Trust’s Laboratory Department on 028 7161 1350, from Tuesday, February 5 to Wednesday, February 13 between 9am to 5pm.