Screen test

The cancer screening controversy has parallels with a crisis that rocked the British NHS 17 years ago – but it is being handled very differently

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
20th May, 2018
A vaginal smear showing cancer cells: international studies show that there will be 50 false negatives or interval cancers for every 100,000 cervical smear tests that are read

In 2001, Britain’s health service was rocked by a crisis in its screening programme for cervical cancer. It came under intense public, media and political scrutiny.

That episode had many parallels with the omnishambles that is now engulfing the cervical screening programme in Ireland, but the way it was handled was very different.

Leicester Royal Infirmary, a large hospital in England, carried out an audit, and reviewed the smear history, of 403 women who...

Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!

Exclusive offers:

All Digital Access + eReader



Unlimited Access for 1 Month

Get basic

*New subscribers only

You can cancel any time.



€149 For the 1st Year

Unlimited Access for 1 Year

You can cancel any time.




90 Day Pass

You can cancel any time.

2 Yearly



Unlimited Access for 2 Years

You can cancel any time.

Team Pass

Get a Business Account for you and your team

Share this post

Related Stories

Analysis: Variants and vaccines make projecting path of virus more complex

Health Rachel Lavin 2 hours ago

HSE’s latest private hospitals Covid deal estimated to cost €47 million a month

Health Daniel Murray 4 days ago

Key public health posts remain vacant

Health Daniel Murray 4 days ago

Breakdown of HSE’s €1.6 billion war chest to fight Covid-19

Health Daniel Murray 4 days ago