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Cervical Cancer

Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will estimate the cost of computerising the cervical cancer smear test scheme for the whole of the United Kingdom;(2) how many and which area health authorities have proposed to install computerised cervical cancer smear test schemes; and how many and in which areas such schemes have been approved.

I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of computerising the cervical cancer smear scheme in the Cheshire area health authority; what representations he has received from theauthority to do this; and what replies he has given.

We have received no representations on this subject from the district health authorities in Cheshire who are responsible for cervical screening and for whom the FPC already operates a manual recall scheme. So far as we are aware, this scheme is working satisfactorily.It would cost rather over £100,000 to put the female patient registration records of Cheshire family practitioner committee onto a computer suitable for cervical cytology call and recall, not including operating costs. Cheshire FPC is keen to have a computer for patient registration and other activities when funds are available, and has been advised of our overall plans and priorities for installing computers in FPCs.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many errors have come to light during the last five years which have arisen from the use of a manual cervical cancer smear test scheme; and if any of these occurred in the Cheshire area health authority.

We are not aware of any such errors. Cervical cytology recall schemes, whether manual or computerised, are designed to invite women who have already been tested to attend for routine cervical cytology

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will classify awards of severe disablement allowance to (a) men, (b) single women and (c) married women according to whether they (i) were exempt from the 80 per cent. test on the grounds of age, (ii) were passported to the 80 per cent. test or (iii) passed the 80 per cent. test.

The information as at 12 March is as follows.tests at regular intervals. The hon. Member may wish to approach the district health authority for information onthe system currently operating in Cheshire.Once any test has been taken, it is essential that proper arrangements are made by the clinician to ensure follow-up of any abnormal smears. The hon. Member may have in mind reported cases of error in these arrangements but they are nothing to do with the arrangement for recall.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have died from cervical cancer in the Cheshire area health authority area in each of the last five years; and how this compares with the United Kingdom average.

The information requested is shown in the following table, for the five most recent years for which data are available.To provide a comparison with the United Kingdom figure a standardised mortality ratio (SMR) is shown. The SMR for the United Kingdom is 100.

Deaths from cancer of cervix uteri (LCD 180) and Standardised Mortality Ratios based on United Kingdom, 1979–83 Cheshire Area Health Authority*
YearNumbers of deathsSMR
197950137
198050140
198149138
198240116
198345129
* Cheshire Area Health Authority up to 1 April 1982; County of Cheshire from 1 April 1982. (The Area Health Authority equated to the County).