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Cervical screening and your personal information

We need to collect and store some of your personal information when you take part in cervical screening.

This includes your:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • date of birth
  • PPS number
  • surname at birth
  • mother's maiden name
  • cervical screening history
What we mean by cervical screening history

Your cervical screening history can include:

Your consent

Each time you have a test we ask for your consent.

You sign a form to confirm that you:

  • understand the information you have been given about cervical screening and its benefits and limitations
  • give your consent to take part in CervicalCheck
  • have checked that your details are correct
  • allow us to receive, hold and exchange your personal information and screening history with those who deliver the HPV cervical screening programme

You can withdraw this consent at any time. This means you will not get invited for screening in the future.

How to opt out of cervical screening

Change your contact details

How we use your information

We use your personal information to:

We may also share your information with other health services such as:

We share your information to:

  • make sure there is an accurate record of your screening history
  • see if screening reduces the number of people who get cervical cancer and the number of people who die from cervical cancer

We may also use your information to invite you to take part in research. You can choose to take part or not. We will not use your personal information as part of research without consent.

Teaching studies, reviews and quality assurance checks

We may use your screening samples and personal information but we will never publish your name:

  • as part of our quality assurance checks and audits
  • in teaching studies

This is to help improve our screening programme.

Personal cervical screening review

If you developed cervical cancer after screening you can have a personal cervical screening review. We use your personal information if you request a review. This includes your name.

We may share your information or request it from other healthcare providers for the purpose of review. We will only do this if you give us your consent and have requested a review.

Independent slide reviews

If you request your slides to be reviewed independently, we will record and hold some information. For example, the slide number, slide date and laboratory it was sent to.

We do not have access to or hold information on the findings of your independent slide review.

Access to your records and requesting reviews

How long we hold your information for

We will hold your personal information while you take part in the cervical screening programme and for 8 years afterwards. Your screening slides will be kept for 10 years.

HSE record retention policy

Your data protection rights

We will keep your personal information safe and confidential. This is in line with data protection laws and your legal rights. 

You can request:

  • access to your personal information
  • that inaccurate or incomplete information is corrected or updated
  • that we do not use or process your personal information
  • that we delete your personal information
  • to receive your personal information as a digital file

You can lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission at any time.

Your rights are not absolute. This means there may be situations where a request cannot be granted.

HSE data protection policy

Contact us about your rights

Contact the National Screening Service Information Governance Office to:

You can also access your records by making a subject access request (SAR)

If you are not happy with our response, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Commission.

Contact the Data Protection Commission -

Open disclosure

We will communicate with you in an open, honest, timely and transparent manner at all times.

This includes if:

  • something goes wrong with your care
  • you experience harm as a result of your care
  • we think that harm may have occurred

Open disclosure

Cervical screening tests or colposcopy outside of CervicalCheck

If you have a cervical screening test or attend colposcopy outside of the CervicalCheck programme, we do not have access to this information.

Page last reviewed: 29 March 2023
Next review due: 29 March 2026