§ Mr. Stinchcombe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which breast cancer screening centres that are conducting pilot studies into the impact of extending the routine call/recall element of the breast screening programme to women aged 65 to 69 years have collated preliminary results; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Preliminary results of the pilot study carried out in Brighton (one of three studies) were published in the British Medical Journal, Volume 317, page 388, dated 8 August 1998. Copies of the journal are available in the Library.
The National Screening Committee (NSC) has considered the case for extending the National Health Service breast screening programme to older women. The view of the NSC was that the first priority must be to ensure that all women are screened at three yearly intervals and to maintain the quality of the existing programme. The NSC acknowledged the promising nature of the interim results of the pilot studies for extending 673W the programme to older women, but recommended that decisions on national implementation should await the final results from all three pilot schemes in April 2000.