Following the Government decision on 8 May 2018, an Independent Clinical Expert Panel Review is being carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) with expertise also sourced through the British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. The protocol for the Review has been published on the website of the Department of Health.
Where the expert panel opinion of cytology results differs to the original results provided by CervicalCheck, the panel will endeavour to determine, wherever possible, any failures to prevent cancer or to intervene at an earlier stage and will prepare individual reports for those affected, setting out the facts and their expert and independent assessment of those facts. The review will also produce an aggregated report.
A process has taken place to seek the consent of women to be included in the review, and over 1,000 women have now consented, or about 63% of those eligible. This is a very welcome level of participation and will facilitate a robust analysis of the performance of the Programme at an aggregated level. The HSE advises that the Expert Panel has been provided with colposcopy and other data in respect of women who have consented to participate, and that the transfer of slides for the cytology phase has now commenced, in accordance with standard operating procedures designed to ensure slides are protected. The Royal College has indicated it will take at least six months to complete the review.