HC Deb 24 March 1999 vol 328 cc313-4W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what contingency plans he has to implement the findings of the pilot studies on extending the routine call element of the breast screening programme to women aged 65 to 69 years, as soon as they are published in 2001. [77339]

Mr. Hutton

The decision whether or not to extend the breast screening programme to all women aged 65–69 will be taken by Ministers, advised by the National Screening Committee, in light of the evaluation of the final results of the three pilot studies.

We recognise the pressures on the current programme due to increasing numbers of eligible women and staff shortages. In October 1998, the Chief Medical Officer set up a working group, with membership drawn from the relevant professional bodies, to look at these issues in more detail. He is currently considering their report.