Two week cervical screening test results becoming far more common

For those going for cervical screening 80% of units doing it across the UK have been sending out the test results within two weeks. This is a great increase in the speed at which the results came out in previous years. Only last year, only 40% of units were doing it in time.

Primary care organisations are responsible for sending out the results and the speed at which they have been sent out has been increasing significantly over the past few years. The improvement in speed of the results being released is because a new requirement has come into force stating that they must be released with this time.

Today’s NHS Information Centre report; Cervical Screening Programme, England, 2010-11, is used to inform policy and to monitor the quality, effectiveness and safety of screening services. It also shows that among women aged 25 to 64:

4.3 million women were invited for a screening test in 2010-11, compared to 4.1 million in the previous year.
3.4 million women were tested in 2010-11, compared to 3.3 million in the previous year.
At 31 March 2011; coverage – the percentage of eligible women screened at least once in the last five years fell to 78.6 per cent from 78.9 per cent in the previous year and from 79.5 per cent five years ago (in 2006).
Coverage varied between England’s 10 Strategic Health Authorities, with four achieving 80 per cent or higher, compared to six in the previous year. The highest reported coverage was in the East Midlands at 81.4 per cent, while the lowest was London at 74.0 per cent.

NHS Information Centre Chief Executive Tim Straughan said: “The statistics in our report, which shows 3.4 million women aged 25 to 64 were tested in 2010-11, are important to monitor the quality and effectiveness of cervical screening services in this country.

“It shows women in England are being sent their cervical screening results faster than before; with the percentage of results sent out within two weeks rising sharply in a year.”

The report can be accessed at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/cervscreen1011