§ Mrs. Spelman
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the reasons underlying the length of time between the decision by NICE on the approval of the Thin Prep Pap Test and its planned implementation. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The pilot study to assess the feasibility of using liquid based cytology (LBC) in the National Health Service cervical screening programme is being progressed in line with the overall guidance published by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in June 2000. LBC is being piloted in conjunction with human papilloma virus (HPV) testing.
Since NICE's recommendation, the three sites for the pilot study have been selected, pilot staff have been trained in the new procedures, and new equipment has been installed on site. Screening began in March 2001, as originally planned.