You may have read in the media that a re-examination is currently taking place of a number of cervical screening tests. This is because an issue was identified in the cervical screening lab service provided by Pathology First following a routine Public Health England Screening Quality Assurance visit in June 2017.
An investigation was immediately launched and it was agreed that 2,500 samples should be reviewed from the period April 2016 to September 2017, from women that were aged between 24 and 29, for whom it was their first smear test, and a small number of women in their 60s for whom it was their last smear test.
Of those 2,500 samples, 900 have been reviewed so far.
Women affected are from the Basildon and Southend areas and all the women who have so far been identified as needing to be seen again have been notified and their GP informed.
Women will only receive a letter if their test has been re-examined and there is a change in result. Women whose negative result has been confirmed after re-screening will not be contacted as their result has not changed.
As the review process is expected to be completed by the end of February 2018, patients may receive communication up to and including the beginning of March, should they require further investigation.
This is a screening service which detects abnormal cells, it does not give a final diagnosis.
We understand that this is a potentially worrying time for the women involved and would like to reassure all women covered by the locally provided cervical screening programme that this was an isolated incident.
If you remain concerned please call 01268 968300, and speak to one of our team Lines open 9am-5pm.
Across the UK women are invited for cervical screening between the ages of 25 and 64. Women aged 25–49 are invited every three years and women aged 50–64 are invited every five years. It is vital women continue to attend their appointments, regular cervical screening offers the best detection of abnormal cells.