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...

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