HC Deb 07 November 1989 vol 159 cc576-7W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his intention to support general practitioners' efforts to meet immunisation and screening targets by conducting a public information and education campaign.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

[holding answer 6 November 1989]: The Department is preparing, with the Health Education Authority, an information and education campaign on immunisation. We hope that this will be launched in 1990 and will be aimed both at professionals and the public.

The improvements which we have asked health authorities to make to their cervical cancer screening programmes will lead to a more systematic approach to screening and increased coverage of the population. The routine invitations generated by the call and recall programme will inform women of the need for regular screening. In addition, the Health Education Authority has produced a leaflet, "The Cervical Smear Test: Why You Need It", which health authorities and family practitioner committees can enclose with invitation letters to women, and has issued guidelines on the points which should be covered in the invitation letter. We take every opportunity to encourage representatives of women's organisations to inform their members about the value of both the cervical and breast screening programmes.