Following a global search for capacity, Quest Diagnostics was identified by the HSE as having the necessary capacity to sustain the national cervical screening programme and a contract for the provision of this additional capacity was signed on 7 June. The HSE has advised that the financial arrangement entered into with Quest Diagnostics is commercially sensitive as the release of these details has the potential to compromise the competitive element of planned procurement processes. In addition to the capacity at its current laboratory, which had been inspected by Dr Scally, new capacity has been provided by Quest at four other Quest facilities in the United States, all of which have been inspected and approved by the HSE. Finalisation of these arrangements ensures that ongoing capacity is available to continue to invite eligible women at normal or recommended intervals, replacing the capacity which would previously have been provided by Medlab, which ceased taking new slides from 1 May last.
I remain fully committed to the continuation of the CervicalCheck screening programme without interruption in the interest of public health, and welcome the confirmation of this additional capacity to support the delivery of cervical screening to women.