Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Health
As the Deputy may be aware, construction of the National Cervical Screening Laboratory (NCSL) commenced on-site at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital (CWIUH) in early January 2021, with a target to be ready in late 2022. The laboratory is being developed by the HSE and the CWIUH and is designed to be a national centre of excellence for cervical screening. The HSE are also working on recruiting key staff to work in the laboratory now, and in the future.
The opening of the new NCSL at the CWIUH will build capacity and resilience into the public element of the laboratory services required for the national cervical screening programme in Ireland. The NCSL, acting as the principal provider of laboratory screening services, will enable the National Screening Service to reduce its dependency on third party providers to meet the needs of CervicalCheck. The NCSL will also serve as the national base for training, education and research purposes as relevant to the national cervical screening programme.
Regarding the specific query regarding the number of samples sent abroad - as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.