It has been reported that more than 40,000 women in England have not received information regarding cervical cancer screening after a failure to send out letters by the NHS. The errors were made between January and June last year.
Around 4,000 of the letters were results of tests, the remainder were letters inviting women for screening or reminding them that they were due to be tested. Between 150 and 200 of the test results that were not sent out had abnormal results. It is thought the intended recipients should have received at least one notification from their GP or screening clinic, as women with abnormal results should be sent letters from two or three sources.
NHS England is checking the abnormal results are being followed up properly with further testing. So far it has contacted nearly half of this group and says no harm has been caused. However, cervical changes can on occasion be an indication of cervical cancer. The timing of investigations, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer can be crucial to a patient’s outcome; the earlier the intervention, the better the results can be.
If you think you have been affected by mistakes over cervical screening, and would like some advice, please click here to contact us.
Natalie Nolan, Trainee Solicitor