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Breast Cancer Screening Programme

Volume 651: debated on Thursday 20 December 2018

5. What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the adequacy of the breast cancer screening programme. (908338)

Our breast cancer screening programme provides a world-leading service, inviting more than 2.5 million women for a test each year, detecting cancer earlier and saving lives.

The independent breast screening review found that a lack of clarity over when women should receive their invitations had caused the error that resulted in 67,000 women not being invited to their final breast screening. Will the Government implement the review’s recommendations and introduce guidance to clarify the ages at which women should be invited for routine screening?

The hon. Gentleman is right. The review found that the breast screening incident that was made public in May had arisen because of a lack of alignment between the national service specification and the way in which the programme was being run in practice. As a result, NHS England has announced a comprehensive review of cancer screening programmes, to be undertaken by Professor Sir Mike Richards. We will take account of the findings of both that review and our own breast screening review to ensure that changes improve the whole system.