§ Mr. Streeter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recent trials of liquid-based cytology; and what the timescale is for introducing this method of cervical screening across the whole NHS. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has appraised the use of liquid based cytology (LBC) and based on their recommendation we announced, on 22 October 2003, that LBC will be rolled out nationally across the national health service cervical screening programme.506W
We expect the roll out to take up to five years, due to the retraining of all laboratory staff who read cervical screening tests and all sample takers in primary care. Strategic health authorities have been issued with advice on how best they can roll out LBC for their local populations, laboratories and primary care.