RCPI Faculty of Pathology establishes Expert Advisory Group on Cervical Screening Pathology


The Faculty of Pathology at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is to establish an Expert Advisory Group to provide direction and guidance to the National Cervical Screening Programme. The group will be chaired by Prof Louise Burke, the incoming Dean/Chair of the Faculty of Pathology and Clinical Professor at Cork University Hospital / University College Cork.


Announcing the establishment of this Expert Advisory Group, Prof Burke said the Faculty of Pathology, as the national professional and training body for Pathology in Ireland, is concerned about the effect the on-going controversy is having on confidence in the national cervical screening programme. “Recent weeks have been extremely worrying time for many Irish women and their families and has also affected the healthcare professionals providing their care Ireland. 


“Cervical screening, which involves the pathological analysis of cells from the cervix for pre-cancerous changes, still remains the most reliable and effective way of preventing and detecting early cancers when performed within a nationally organised screening service. Therefore we continue to urge women to present for routine screening” Prof Burke said. 


“Given the outsourcing of the service in 2008, the Faculty of Pathology is not in a position at this time to comment on the quality metrics of individual laboratories. However, if the Scally Report identifies any issues with laboratories currently providing this service, a rigorous approach to remedying these issues will be required to bring them in to line with international standards. 


“The Faculty of Pathology fully supports the introduction of the primary HPV test and is committed to working with the National Screening Service to advise on future pathological service provision for this and other cancer screening programmes” Prof Burke said.