Public should be informed of inevitable risks of error in cancer screening programmes, WHO says

New report makes international recommendations on how to run cervical screening programmes following trust and litigations issue arising from Ireland’s CervicalCheck controversy

IARC warned that the Irish public’s misunderstanding of the limitations of cancer screening – could “derail” screening programmes across Europe. Picture: Getty

The standards applied by courts to negligence claims under cervical screening programmes should “reflect the reality of cervical screening” and consider the “inherent limitations” of screening, a World Health Organisation (WHO) review of Ireland’s screening programme has recommended.

It also recommended that audits of screening programme should be anonymised and not disclosed to patients, an interval cancer rate for assessing the quality of cervical screening programmes should be implemented, and the public should be informed ...