“Smear testing, whilst unpleasant, is essential to preventing cervical cancer, early diagnosis, and ultimately, saving the lives of women, and patients should rightly expect the screening process to be rigorous,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“My heart goes out to the woman who has been severely impacted by these missed opportunities, as well as the other women who have been picked up by the review process. It is essential that all Trusts complete these audits and get on top of this backlog of unchecked smear tests.
“Women deserve better, and we need a restored Executive to prioritise a women’s health strategy to improve health outcomes. Such a strategy should focus on earlier cancer screening, resourcing for investigative diagnostics and clinics where women can access smear testing alongside menopause, maternity and fertility services. We also need to see improved auditing procedures, so that we have the data required to make meaningful health interventions.
“I hope that the experience of this patient will not deter other women from attending appointments for cervical screening, and would urge all women to take a smear test when offered.”