Up to 48,000 women could have missed smear tests due to NHS error

14 November 2018, 16:56

Many women have missed smear tests because of the blunder
Many women have missed smear tests because of the blunder. Picture: Getty

Thousands of women didn't receive letters inviting them for their smear tests due to to NHS errors.

Almost 50,000 women didn't receive letters to say they were due for a cervical cancer screenings and in some cases, didn't receive their results.

Women age 25 and above should have regular smear tests on the NHS to check for the risk of cervical cancer.

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NHS England have contacted those most affected
NHS England have contacted those most affected. Picture: PA

Those eligible receive reminder notices for their screenings every 3 to 5 years depending on age however around 48,000 women didn't receive their letters leaving them at risk.

This reminder service is carried out by Capita on behalf of the NHS and owing to the error the British Medical Association wants the NHS to halt their contract with the company.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: “This is an incredibly serious situation, and it is frankly appalling that patients may now be at risk because of this gross error on the part of Capita."

"Some women will now be left extremely anxious because they have not received important correspondence, particularly letters about abnormal smear test results that need urgent follow-up."

"This has been caused solely by Capita’s incompetence."

Out of the 43,200 missing letters from the NHS, 4,500 contained patient results however fewer than 200 showed abnormalities.

NHS England told The Sun that so far 90 women in that group have been tracked down to make sure they had been to follow up appointments and plan to get in touch with the remainder as soon as possible.