HC Deb 19 January 1989 vol 145 cc297-8W
Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his further plans for the screening of women for cervical cancer.

Mr. Freeman

Comprehensive guidance to health authorities and family practitioner committees on cervical cancer screening services was issued in January 1988. All district health authorities in England have now implemented computerised call and recall systems. All women aged 20 to 64 are to be invited for screening by March 1993—unless their general practitioner has indicated that they should be excluded—and recalled at least every five years. We shall continue to monitor progress.

Mrs. Ray Michie

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received concerning the psychological effects on patients of the current system of cervical cancer screening.

Mr. Freeman

None. Nevertheless we recognise the importance of minimising the anxieties women might have about participation in the cervical cancer screening programme. We have asked health authorities to aim their local health education programmes at encouraging women to respond positively to their screening invitations and to ensure that women who require treatment following their test are offered counselling and support.