Cervical Cancer: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd December 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce waiting times for smear test results.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England and NHS Improvement, in collaboration with the pathology networks and cervical screening laboratory providers, have implemented a range of measures to ensure laboratory capacity is in place to deliver human papillomavirus (HPV) testing according to the target turnaround time of 14 days.

These measures include laboratory providers recruiting more staff, improvements to booking in of slides to allow more efficient processing and 24 hours a day, seven days a week testing. NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to liaise regularly with laboratory providers to ensure that they have capacity to deliver HPV primary screening and that any issues that may impact on turnaround times are identified, addressed and mitigated against.

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