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Cervical Cancer: Screening

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he has made towards increasing the participation of women aged 25 to 35 years in the cervical cancer screening programme. (248447)

As set out in the Cancer Reform Strategy, national health service cancer screening programmes have commissioned the Improvement Foundation to undertake work at a local level targeting this group. Six primary care trusts are taking part in this work. The Improvement Foundation are expected to deliver the outcomes from their work to NHS cancer screening programmes by the end of 2009, and the lessons learned will be shared with strategic health authorities and local screening programmes to develop best practice.

To incentivise services to encourage higher coverage, the decision has been taken to explore having a tariff for cervical screening, along with breast and bowel screening. The Department is working closely with NHS cancer screening programmes on a scoping exercise to inform this work.

We will continue to monitor levels of cervical screening coverage through the Office for National Statistics/Information Centre annual cervical screening programme statistical bulletin.

NHS cancer screening programmes have already produced posters specifically targeting women in the age range of 25-35.