CervicalCheck to resume in July

Priority groups to be targeted first
  • Deborah Condon

Letters inviting women for smear tests as part of the CervicalCheck screening programme are to be sent from early July. Cervical screening has been suspended since late March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resumption of this service was confirmed by the HSE's chief clinical officer, Dr Colm Henry. He said that priority groups will be targeted first, with those people being sent letters on July 6, and screening beginning the following week.

Dr Henry acknowledged that it will "take some time" to clear the backlog.

"We are not going through them in chronological order, but are beginning with priority groups. We expect to clear all those that were suspended sometime by October," he explained.

However, he emphasised that this is dependent on the assumption that COVID-19 community transmission levels stay low and do not require public health measures to revert back to a suspension of services.

Meanwhile, Dr Henry also said that screening for diabetic retinopathy is expected to restart next month. However BowelScreen, which screens for bowel cancer, and BreastCheck, which screens for breast cancer, are not expected to resume until September.


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