§ 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. 
§ 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 1073W 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.