§ 42. Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the number of medical screening units and future demand for screening.
§ Mr. Mellor
We have established two programmes to screen women regularly for cervical and breast cancers. Most of the cervical smears performed each year are taken by general practitioners. Breast cancer screening is organised by regional health authorities and is carried out in specifically equipped centres.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe), on 14 June, at columns 429–30 for information about those breast screening centres in England which are operational and to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), on 19 June, at column 35, for information about screening in health care.
Information on screening in the other parts of the United Kingdom is the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Wales and Northern Ireland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
§ 64. Ms. Richardson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has issued guidelines to National Health Service hospitals on(a) the information they provide on breast cancer screening and (b) levying charges for breast cancer screening.
§ Mr. Mellor
The Health Education Authority has produced a leaflet which can accompany a woman's invitation letter to explain what happens at a breast screening centre. Additional material has been produced to inform staff involved in health education and primary care about the screening programme. A general information leaflet on breast screening is also due to be published shortly. The guidance to health authorities concerning the provision of breast cancer screening referred to in the reply my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health gave to the hon. Member on 21 February, at columns606–7, drew attention to the role the Health Education Authority would play in supporting health authorities' education programmes for women.
Guidance issued to health authorities in March on income generation HN(89)9 states that the Department should be consulted where proposals for income generation clearly involve national policy,for example breast and cervical cancer screening".