NAGP seeking clarification from HSE and Department of Health on repeat smear tests

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) is seeking clarification from the HSE and the Department of Health on a number of issues relating to repeat smear tests being carried out in the wake of the CervicalCheck controversy. According to the NAGP, GP surgeries are handling a huge number of calls from concerned patients and their members are seeking more guidance on re-testing and reviewing previous tests.

The clarity sought from the NAGP is:

  • Guidance with regard to counselling and re-testing,
  • Whether patients will need to have a repeat smear test or a review of their previous test results.
  • The HSE’s mechanism for patients to have their previous tests reviewed.

Commenting on this, Dr Andy Jordan, Chairperson of the NAGP, said; ‘’our office has been inundated with calls from GPs, who need more guidance on how best to deal with patients who have grave concerns about CervicalCheck. GP surgeries are being inundated with calls from patients, who need to be cared for in line with best practice procedures and reassured that everything is under control.’’

Dr Jordan went on to outline specific concerns; ‘’GPs need guidance from the HSE and the Department of Health about whether they should be recommending a re-test or a review of their last test. We also need to know whether the HSE will put in place a mechanism for patients to have their last smear test reviewed.’’

Dr Jordan went on to say; ‘’we have been engaging closely with the Department of Health and the HSE since the CervicalCheck news broke in order to make sure we get the correct information for patients. We are continuing to seek clarification with regard to our members’ concerns, not least of which the consultation itself and what this should entail. It is vital that GPs get the information they need to provide the best possible care and reassure their patients.’’

The NAGP is the representative body for general practitioners in Ireland. It is committed to the particular needs of general practice and negotiates with the Government on behalf of GPs and for best practice within the sector.