Tuesday 20 August 2019

Call for smear test analysis to be done in Irish labs

Stock picture
Stock picture
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Scientists have called for the examination for cervical smear tests to be brought back to Ireland.

It comes after the latest probe of the CervicalCheck scandal found that more than 4,000 women were affected by an IT glitch that saw them fail to receive smear test results.

The report by Professor Brian MacCraith also raised concern about the circumstances where a US laboratory was added as a location for the examination of the tests without a risk assessment, amid a massive backlog in the system.

The Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine (ACSLM) welcomed Mr MacCraith's report, saying it exposed issues in "ongoing failure of outsourcing of cervical screening in terms of commissioning, governance, quality assurance and oversight".

The organisation, which has more than 1,400 members, said the HSE has at its disposal laboratory managers and senior medical scientists with the skills "to provide quality assured laboratory diagnostics". It added: "It is extraordinary that this debacle continues to rumble on without recourse to this expertise."

The ACSLM said it is recommending that "the entire service now be repatriated".

HSE chief executive Paul Reid apologised to the women affected by the IT problem after the report's publication.

He said the HSE "accepts entirely" Mr MacCraith's findings and added that the HSE has committed to implementing the recommendations.

Irish Independent

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