Women need reassurance following smear test revelations – Lockhart

The DUP's Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has requested an urgent meeting with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to discuss concerns in relation to smear tests, following the revelation that 3 abnormal test results were missed, leading to a cancer diagnosis in a woman who was 42 at the time.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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Carla Lockhart said:

“It is not even two weeks ago since we marked Cervical Cancer Prevention Week across the UK. The central theme of that campaign is to ensure women do not skip or delay their routine smear test, such is the importance of this in detecting cancer.

I am horrified to learn that despite three abnormal results to her smear tests, these were missed on each occasion and the patient in question, ‘Susan’, was then diagnosed with cervical cancer. There must be absolute confidence in the process, from test to analysis of result. This has shaken the confidence of local women who now will be asking ‘was my test result assessed correctly?’

The Trust has taken steps to provide this reassurance, and that is welcome. We need a swift review or risk assessment, which I understand is being carried out by the Royal College of Pathology, to assuage any concerns out there amongst local women.

I will be meeting the Trust to seek further answers on how this went so badly wrong, and the measures they will take to address the issues arising from this case, but also to make sure that no one else faces such a devastating diagnosis as ‘Susan’.”

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