Freephone information line: 1800 45 45 55

Failsafe requests

If a person does not show for a recommended repeat cervical screening test or a colposcopy appointment, we will write to their GP or clinic.

This is to follow-up and check if the person has:

  • been referred to colposcopy
  • attended their recommended screening test
  • changed their address
  • changed their doctor, if known
  • received a follow-up call from their doctor

We call this a failsafe request.

It is to try and ensure that a person attends their recommended follow up if they have a result that is positive for HPV or abnormal cell changes.

It is also to make sure that reasonable efforts are made to contact the person to remind them of the recommended action. Their doctor should make at least 2 recorded efforts to contact them.

We will also write to the person to remind them.

When a failsafe request is sent

A failsafe request is a letter that is sent 2 months after the due date for the person’s recommended:

  • repeat screening test following an inadequate or abnormal result
  • colposcopy referral
  • follow-up screening test after colposcopy

A second failsafe request is sent 2 months later if:

  • the doctor with clinical responsibility does not respond to the first request
  • the person has still not attended her recommended follow-up

Responding to a failsafe request

A doctor or nurse can use this page to respond to a failsafe request.

You will need:

  • your doctor or clinic ID - use only the ID that appears on the failsafe request
  • the person's cervical screening programme (CSP) ID

You will find both of these ID numbers on the failsafe request that we sent you.

If you are completing a failsafe request for another doctor and you input your own ID instead of the ID on the failsafe request, you will not be able to process the failsafe request online.

We will ask you to inform us if the person has:

  • been referred to a colposcopy clinic
  • received a follow-up from the doctor
  • changed their address

Private referrals or screening test

If you have referred the person to a private colposcopy clinic, you should let us know:

  • that a referral was made to a private clinic
  • the name of the private clinic
  • the date of the referral

If the person has had a private cervical screening test, let us know and tell us the date that the private test was taken.


Once you have submitted these details, you will be directed to a page that you can print out for your records.

Responding online is the easiest and quickest way to respond to a failsafe request.

If you are unable to respond to a failsafe request online

You may be unable to respond to a failsafe request online because:

  • you have not responded within 2 months of receiving a second failsafe request. In this instance, the failsafe cycle will close
  • we have already received an update that the person has attended their recommended follow-up

If you are unable to respond online, you can return the failsafe request by post.

Is cuid den tSeirbhís Náisiúnta Scagthástála é CervicalCheck
Bosca Oifig Phoist 161, Luimneach
Saorghlao 1800 45 45 55
CervicalCheck is part of the National Cancer Screening Service
PO Box 161 Limerick
Freephone 1800 45 45 55

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Is cuid den Rannóg Sláinte agus Folláine i bhFeidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte í an tSeirbhís Náisiúnta Scagthástála. Cuimsíonn sí BreastCheck – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Cíoch, CervicalCheck – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Ceirbheacs, BowelScreen – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Putóige agus Diabetic RetinaScreen – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Reitiní do Dhiaibéitigh.

The National Screening Service is part of the Health and Wellbeing Division of the Health Service Executive. It encompasses BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme, CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme, BowelScreen – The National Bowel Screening Programme and Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme.