Belfast Telegraph

Waiting times for smear test results reduced to six weeks

The news follows a backlog of 80,000 tests which left some women waiting more than six months.

The waiting time has dropped (Lynne Cameron/PA)
The waiting time has dropped (Lynne Cameron/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

The reporting of cervical check results has been reduced to six weeks, down from six months, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said.

Interim National Director of the National Screening Service Damien McCallion said the backlog of more than 81,000 slides has been reduced, with the number of slides in the screening process down to 23,000.

The backlog developed after free repeat screening was offered to women by the Government following the CervicalCheck crisis last year.

Mr McCallion told a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on Wednesday morning that the HSE had increased testing capacity by consulting existing providers and private and public services in other countries.

“The number of slides in the backlog was at approximately 81,346 which has largely been eliminated. We would normally expect that approximately 23,000 slides would be in the screening process at all times,” he said.

“The turnaround times for reporting of results were at one point taking up to six months and these have now reduced to an average of six weeks. We hope to sustain the turnaround times at this level going forward.”

PA

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