– Scottish Parliament written question – answered at on 10 March 2011.

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Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39660

To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has for the national screening programme for cervical cancer over the next five years.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

Cervical screening is and will remain an important part of the Scottish Government’s strategy on reducing the burden of cancer through early detection for many years to come. The introduction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme is expected to have an impact on the prevalence of HPV, and so cervical cancer, amongst women in Scotland in the long term, which may lead in due course to changes in the screening programme.

The Breast and Cervical Screening National Advisory Group has recommended that a sub group be established to consider HPV testing within the cervical screening programme. The sub-group will use its expertise to consider the available evidence and will provide advice to the Scottish Government. The timeline for the sub-group to report will be agreed shortly.

The HPV “Test of Cure” early implementation study commenced on 1 February 2011 for one year with pilot sites in NHS Lothian, Grampian, Shetland, Orkney, Highland and Western Isles.

Women in these pilot sites, who have been treated for high grade cervical disease since 1 August 2010, will in addition to cytology testing also be tested for HPV.

It is always important to keep abreast of new technologies and in 2009, the Scottish Government commissioned a feasibility study of image assisted screening which took place between March 2009 and September 2010.

The Feasibility Study Report can be found on the Scottish Government website at:

We will continue to take account of epidemiological and surveillance information as well as new developments in technology when taking future decisions about the screening programme.

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