§ Mr. Galbraith
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will advise health authorities to notify results of cervical smear tests simultaneously to patients and general practitioners; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
I announced on 10 December 1987 that the Government had accepted the main recommendations of the report of the working group on cervical cytology in Scotland. The report contained detailed recommendations on notifying the results of the test to the woman concerned; to the clinician who took the smear; and, if the clinician concerned was not her general practitioner, to that general practitioner, unless the woman specifically requests otherwise. It is for health boards to decide how the results should be conveyed to patients but the detailed guidance issued to them on the provision of the cervical screening service stressed the need to institute the "fail-safe" arrangements set out in the report to ensure that action is taken to follow up positive or doubtful smears.