Skip to main content

Breast Cancer: Screening

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the national standards for uptake of (a) breast and (b) cervical cancer screening were being achieved in (i) England and (ii) Gloucestershire on the latest dates for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (189065)

Uptake of cervical screening is not measured, women make their own appointments following receipt of a reminder letter. Therefore, to provide consistency, the figures given as follows are for coverage.

The national standard for breast screening coverage is 70 per cent., and the national standard for cervical screening coverage is 80 per cent. The following table gives coverage figures for England and Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT), for 2005-06, for breast and cervical screening.

Breast screening programme: coverage of women aged 53-64(1)(2), at 31 March 2006

Eligible population1

Number of women screened

Coverage (less than 3 years since last test)(percentage)





Gloucestershire PCT




1 The coverage of the breast screening programme is the proportion of women resident and eligible that have had a test with a recorded result at least once in the previous three years. Coverage of the screening programme is best assessed using the 53 to 64 age group as women may be first called at any time between their 50th and 53rd birthdays.

2 The breast screening programme covers women aged 50 to 64 but it was extended to invite women aged 65 to 70 in April 2001. The last unit began inviting women aged 65 to 70 in April 2006 and full coverage should be achieved by 2008-09.

3 This is the number of women in the registered population less those recorded as ineligible.


KC63, The Information Centre for health and social care.

Cervical screening programme: coverage of women aged 25-64(1), at 31 March 2007

Eligible population2

Coverage (less than 3.5 years since last adequate test) (percentage)

Coverage (less than 5 years since last adequate test) (percentage)





Gloucestershire PCT




1 National policy for the cervical screening programme is that eligible women aged 25 to 64 should be screened every three or five years (women aged 25 to 49 are screened every three years, those aged 50 to 64 every five years).

2 This is the number of women in the resident population less those with recall ceased for clinical reasons.


KC53 Parts A2 and A3, The Information Centre for health and social care.