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NHS trust reviews 2,500 cervical cancer tests due to laboratory error

Posted: 07/02/2018


Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that 2,500 cervical cancer tests are being re-screened after Public Health England carried out a routine check of an Essex laboratory in June 2017.

The tests taken between April 2016 and September 2017, which were reported as negative, are now being re-screened to ensure any false negatives are followed up accordingly.

To date, 900 tests have been re-screened and this has resulted in 17 women being referred for further assessment and nine being re-screened.

The trust has confirmed that this is an isolated incident and further training has been put in place to ensure all women in the area receive high quality screening.

Emily Hartland, an associate in Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team, comments: “We have only recently had Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and the Jo’s Trust #SmearForSmear2018 campaign was another big success. I hope all of the women encouraged to attend their smear tests as a result of the campaign are not put off by this recent discovery. Fortunately it appears to have been an isolated incident which was picked up by Public Health England and all of the negative results are being re-tested. 

“I have acted for women who have reported cervical cancer symptoms to their GP on several occasions and no further action has been taken. However, not all women develop symptoms and therefore screening remains the best way to detect and prevent cervical cancer.” 

If you, your family or a friend have any concerns about medical treatment received for cervical cancer or any other type of cancer, please contact us for an initial chat on 0800 328 9545.


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