Wednesday 22 May 2019

Local cancer support centres offering help

Emergency counselling available after cervical controversy

Esther Hayden

Emergency counselling is available in Arklow and Greystones for women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy.

On Friday the Irish Cancer Society announced emergency funding so that women directly affected by the CervicalCheck controversy can have free counselling in their own community.

Funds will be made available for an additional 500 counselling sessions in 25 Irish Cancer Society-affiliated Support Centres across the country, including the Arklow Cancer Support Group and the Greystones Cancer Support.

The Society has taken the step in response to the significant increase in the numbers of women seeking advice and support from the charity around CervicalCheck and their smear test results.

The announcement brings to 8,000 the number of free counselling sessions for people affected by cancer which the Irish Cancer Society will provide funding for in 2018.

Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society, said: 'Over the past few days we have received a huge number of queries from women who are very concerned by the revelations about CervicalCheck.

'Understandably, many women are deeply affected and need support, reassurance and practical help. Through our existing network across the country, we are making additional money for counselling available so women in Wexford can get the support they so desperately need at this time.'

Nurses from the Irish Cancer Society will also be assisting in calling back women who have contacted the CervicalCheck helpline this week and are waiting for a response.

Mr Buggy said: 'Women are out there worrying and waiting for a call back so they can have their concerns and worries addressed. We want to help reassure these women. Our panel of specialist cancer nurses will work with the CervicalCheck helpline to make sure as many of these women are contacted as soon as possible.'

Bray People