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Image / Editorial

‘Technical glitch’ sees 800 women without CervicalCheck results


By Jennifer McShane
11th Jul 2019
‘Technical glitch’ sees 800 women without CervicalCheck results

The HSE has confirmed that approximately 800 women have not received their CervicalCheck results after a “technical glitch.”

According to multiple reports on Thursday evening, the problem occurred at a Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Chantilly in Virginia in the US.

The tests involved in this latest CervicalCheck problem were mainly repeat tests that were carried out between October 1 st last and June 25th this year.

The Head of the National Screening Service says the women involved were written to on July 1st and told to contact their GP for their results.

The HSE apparently only became aware of the issue after one patient contacted the Department of Health in relation to her missing results.

Delayed results

Related: ‘Do not ignore this’: Vicky Phelan urges women to listen to their bodies

According to the Irish Times, the HSE said that IT updates had been required at the US facility to ensure results letters were issued to women, but the update was slower to implement than expected. They added that reports of results were issued to women’s GPs.

Frances McNamara, head of the National Screening Service, said CervicalCheck wrote to the women affected on July 1st and advised them to contact their GP to receive their results.

“CervicalCheck sincerely apologises for this delay, which we understand may have caused considerable anxiety for some women,” she said.

Related: €20,000 to be paid to women affected by CervicalCheck non-disclosure

However, some GPs and nurse practices say they have not received results in recent days. The HSE and the lab involved are reportedly now issuing letters and reports manually.

“As a result of slower than expected implementation of this update, approximately 800 results letters were not issued to women. The existence of an IT issue was identified following engagement with the Department of Health in relation to representations from a woman using our services.”

 “CervicalCheck has requested Quest Diagnostics to issue these reports manually which Quest has advised will happen today [July 11th]. Our priority is to ensure the women involved are kept informed and receive their results promptly.”

The HSE says Quest Diagnostics has said that all IT updates and testing on the system will be complete within in two weeks and that they are closely monitoring the situation.

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