§ Mrs. Currie
[pursuant to her reply, 1 May 1987, c. 264]: A review of 45,000 records of cervical smear tests, carried out during the period March 1983 to December 1985 at the women's hospital, Liverpool, was undertaken after the Liverpool health authority was advised that tests reported as negative at the time might have been sufficiently doubtful to have justified a repeat examination or follow-up.
As a result of the review 487 women were identified as requiring further investigation or treatment and 429 have already been contacted. Efforts are continuing to trace the remaining 58. Arrangements set up by Liverpool health authority for special clinics, including evening and weekend sessions, have enabled the 429 to be seen as quickly as possible. Some of these women have received or will require some form of treatment, mostly on an outpatient basis. The health authority is satisfied that the situation is confined to the period and hospital mentioned.
A thorough review is being conducted by a team chaired by Mr. J. B. Fitzpatrick CBE, chairman of the authority, and which includes a consultant pathologist from outside the Mersey region nominated by the Royal College of Pathologists.
We are keeping a close watch on the situation and await the results of the health authority's review before considering whether any departmental action is required.