By BBC Local Democracy Reporter
THE re-examination of the cervical screening tests at Basildon Hospital is taking longer than expected.
Almost 1,000 samples have been checked, and 17 women have been invited for further assessment.
Thousands of cancer screening test samples were ordered for review in February after an issue with the lab run by Pathology First.
Basildon’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the check would be completed by the end of February.
But more than six weeks later, there is no news.
A spokesman for the CCG said: “We will know whether any additional tests need to be re-screened once the re-examination process is complete, and we have received feedback from Quality Assurance.
“The re-examination process is not yet complete, it is expected to be complete within the next few weeks.”
When asked whether more women had been re-called, a spokesman said: “We do not yet have updated information on women needing further investigation.
“We will get this information on completion of the re-examination process. Any women affected will be contacted as soon as they are identified.”
Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust had confirmed previously that 2,500 samples from cervical cancer tests were being re-screened. An investigation was launched following a routine visit from Public Health England in June last year.
But the delay in checks was revealed after the CCG insisted the review would be completed within weeks.
In board papers distributed by the NHS chiefs last month, a report read: “The re-examination process is expected to take until the end of February. Until this is complete we do not know whether or not any additional tests will need to be rescreened.
“We understand that this is a potentially worrying time for the women involved and would like to reassure all women covered by the locally provided cervical screening programme that the service continues to operate to high quality standards.”
A helpline remains open on 01268 968300 from 9am.