HC Deb 20 October 1998 vol 317 cc1072-3W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for each health authority in Scotland, what is the average time taken for a patient to receive the results of their cervical smear test; and what percentage take longer than the recommended four weeks. [55211]

Mr. Galbraith

The average reporting time for the results of cervical smear tests for each Health Board laboratory for the year ending 31 March 1998 was:

Number of days
Argyll and Clyde 9
Ayrshire and Arran 17
Dumfries and Galloway 9
Fife 11
Forth Valley 26
Grampian 21
Greater Glasgow 13
Highland 13
Lanarkshire 11
Lothian 32
Tayside 14

For the year ended 31 March 1998 the average reporting time for the results of the cervical smear tests in Scotland was 17 days. The laboratory that serves Lothian and Borders Health Boards experienced major staffing problems during 1997 but the Health Boards have now taken action to address this problem.

The figure for Lothian includes Borders cases, Grampian includes Orkney and Shetland cases and Highland includes Western Isles cases. Figures are collected only for the time from the date a smear test is received by the laboratory to the date the report is issued by the laboratory and do not therefore include the time it takes GPs, family planning clinics, etc. to issue the results to patients once they receive them from the laboratory. For this reason, no information is available on the percentage of patients who take longer than 4 weeks to receive their result.