§ Mr. Oakes
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 scheme; and how many and in which areas such schemes have been approved.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 15 April 1985, c. 89]: My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State are responsible for cervical cancer screening in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In England, district health authorities are responsible for cervical cancer screening programmes. These can be carried out in a number of ways, with or without a computer, and we hold central records only of the number of family practitioner committees using computers for cervical cytology recall or call as an agency arrangement for district health authorities. The following 37 FPCs—corresponding in area to 79 district health authorities—are known to be using computers for this purpose now or to have firm plans to do so. Other district health authorities may be using computers based at laboratories for recall schemes.
The cost of installing computers and record conversion to operate cervical cytology recall and call in all remaining FPCs in England would be around £4 million. This figure does not include operational costs, including the costs of taking cervical smears, examining them and follow-up action. I refer the right hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, Moorlands (Mr. Knox) on 29 April for the action we are asking district health authorities to take on cervical screening.
FPCs in England known to be using computers for cervical cytology call or recall or with firm plans to do so Avon Bromley Barking and Havering Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire Calderdale
Cleveland Manchester Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Norfolk Coventry North Tyneside Croydon Northamtonshire Derbyshire Northumberland Devon Nottinghamshire Dorset Rochdale Durham Rotherham Gloucestershire Sandwell Hampshire Staffordshire Hereford and Worcester Stockport Isle of Wight Suffolk Kent Warwickshire Kirklees Wigan Leicestershire Wiltshire Liverpool