HC Deb 13 January 1987 vol 108 c177W
54. Mr. Willie W. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to initiate methods of controlling the qualifications of staff engaged in private laboratories processing cervical smears and their standards of quality control.

Mrs. Currie

We would expect health authorities which use private laboratories to have due regard for the qualifications of staff employed and for standards of quality control. In addition to existing arrangements, discussions are taking place with relevant United Kingdom professional bodies on the introduction of voluntary external quality assurance schemes and on improvements to training and certification for non-medical laboratory staff. These would be relevant to all laboratories in which cervical smears are examined. Arrangements in Scotland are, of course, a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.