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Cervical Check is writing to doctors today to make sure they've told patients the results of the audits of their smear tests.

The launch of a helpline for anybody with concerns about the cervical screening programme has been hit with technical issues.

The service was due to start taking calls at 9am but a problem meant that the service, available on 1800 45 45 55, only began shortly after 10.30am.

Minister Harris admitted it was the "last thing anyone needed".

The HSE also said it is "considered essential that the remainder of the Leadership team of the CervicalCheck Programme remain in situ" while a peer review takes place.

Following the news of the incorrect test results, a new helpline has been set up to reassure women who believe they might have been at risk.

The team will report to Dr Colm Henry, who is a senior HSE clinical lead.

"We have always advocated and campaigned for resources for screening, particularly in relation to cervical screening because it is the best measure we have to avoid cervical cancer, which is a awful cancer, but is one that, if caught early enough, can be managed".




The HSE confirmed the news that 206 women developed the illness after having a misdiagnosed smear and should have had further medical investigations.

It was amid revelations that more than 200 reviews of tests suggested women with cervical cancer should have received "earlier intervention".

"It's completely unacceptable that women affected by these screening errors continue to be left in the dark", said Mr Donnelly.

"People must have full trust in our national screening programmes".

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer around the same time, but she only found out about that review past year.

"The story of Vicky Phelan's missed cancer diagnosis and its subsequent escalation to terminal cervical cancer is extremely upsetting and worrying".

Jolene McElhinney of McElhinney and Associates says she is handling the cases of two women in Donegal in very similar situations to that of Limerick woman, Vicky Phelan.


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