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Smear test clinics begin as part of Cervical screening services review

17th November 2023

“The Southern Trust can confirm that the first clinic will start this evening (Friday 17 November) to undertake repeat smear tests for women included in the Cervical screening services review.

Women being offered a repeat smear test are those whose previous slide is unavailable either because their previous smear may have taken place more than 10 years ago (under storage regulations slides are retained for 10 years before disposal) or because the slide is damaged or not available.

The first smear clinics will be located on the Craigavon Area Hospital site and will operate each evening Monday to Thursday (5.30pm – 8pm) and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday (8am – 8pm). We plan to provide clinics in other locations across the Trust including Daisy Hill hospital, Newry and we anticipate that the clinics will be operational for up to 12 weeks from now.

In order to avoid delay in starting the clinics, for the first clinics, our staff are contacting the women involved by telephone to offer them an appointment. Women attending the clinic will receive their results within 6 weeks of their clinic date. Women do not need to contact the Trust or their GP whilst this process is being rolled out. Please note that GPs will not be undertaking smear tests as part of this process.

These smear clinics will be staffed by nurses with specialist experience of carrying out smear tests and will include nurses from within the Trust as well as GP practices. There will also be Liaison staff available at the clinics who can provide support to women who may require it.

We are sincerely sorry for any concern the ongoing review may cause the women affected and we urge anybody with concerns to contact our cervical review information helpline (0800 9520255). Common questions and answers regarding the review are also available on a dedicated section of our website which is updated on an ongoing basis, based on queries women have raised with us.”

From 4th December, clinics will take place 8am to 7.30pm both Saturday and Sunday