§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North,Offical Report, 8 December, columns 336-37, what is the current average waiting period in north Staffordshire for cervical smears.
§ Mr. Mellor
The current average period from receipt by north Staffordshire's laboratory of a routine cervical smear to a report being sent to the doctor who submitted the smear is four to five weeks. I understand that women in north Staffordshire have no difficulty in obtaining a cervical smear as part of the district's screening programme, in line with our guidance that women aged 20-64 should be tested at least every five years.