HC Deb 14 June 1988 vol 135 c83W
Mr. Nicholas Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average time taken by each Welsh health authority to process cervical smear tests and provide the results for the patient and her general practitioner; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist

Information about the average time taken to provide results of cervical smear tests in 1987 is as follows. In November 1987, a further £400,000 was allocated to district health authorities to help improve the cervical screening service. I hope that this additional funding will contribute to a reduction in waiting times in those districts where women had to wail more than the recommended maximum of eight weeks in 1987.

Clwyd 1–35
East Dyfed 16–88
Gwent 35
Gwynedd 30
Mid Glamorgan 56
Pembrokeshire 112
Powys 19
South Glamorgan 21
West Glamorgan 56

Pembrokeshire was dependent on the laboratory at West Wales general hospital to process its cervical smear tests in 1987. The turnaround time at that laboratory increased significantly in 1987 due to staffing problems, although I understand that remedial action taken earlier this year should have eased the situation. Following Welsh Office funding, Pembrokeshire plans to establish its own laboratory service to evaluate cervical smear tests from 1 July. The authority has advised that this will substantially reduce the time taken to notify results.