Smear test results recall greatly concerning but assistance is available for those affected, says Bradshaw

Alliance Party Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has encouraged people who have had a smear test in the Southern Trust between 2008 and 2021 to remain conscious of recall letters, following a BBC News NI investigation.

Health Paula Bradshaw

The investigation revealed that about 17,000 people are to have their smear test results recalled as findings showed that several staff members were “significantly underperforming”, and that there were flawed mechanisms to check their work, as well as issues with the lack of action taken by management.


The South Belfast MLA has said: “I would encourage anybody who receives a recall letter to follow the guidance enclosed and to attend their new appointment.


“This will undoubtedly cause a great deal of stress and anxiety to anybody who receives a letter, but any questions can be answered from the Southern Trust’s dedicated helpline.


“I will be following up with the Southern Trust’s leadership to ensure that a joint-up approach to implementing the recommendations of the report made by the Royal College of Pathologists must be prioritised. We must do all we can to ensure that no failures like this can happen again, and prevent any potential distress to affected service users.”


You can contact the Southern Trust’s helpline on 0800 952 0255, which is available for service users from Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 18:30 and 10:00 - 16:00 on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October 2023.