Suspension of Belfast Trust accreditation for cytology services a worrying development for women's health in NI, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said she is worried by news that the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has had its cervical cytology service accreditation suspended.

Health Paula Bradshaw

The announcement, which was first reported by BBC News, is a worrying development for cytology services across the country, following the previous recall of smear test results within the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.


The South Belfast MLA has said: "I am deeply worried about this development and the overall state of play for cytology services across Northern Ireland.


"Whilst I understand that the Belfast Trust intends to appeal this decision, now is the time for close working between the Trust, its wider workforce and the Royal College of Pathologists, as well as the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. It’s essential that we ensure the issues which have led to the accreditation suspension can be rectified as soon as possible so that future service users can be confident and assured in the quality of care that they are receiving.


"As Vice-Chair of the APG on Women's Health, this is just another example of why we need a Women's Health Strategy to ensure that we are properly dealing with the challenges faced by women trying to access basic healthcare.


"The public deserves clarity and and assurances. I trust that there will be a major moment for reflection for those who provide cytology services across both the Belfast and Southern Trusts amidst these recent developments, and I will be following up with the Belfast Trust on this matter."