§ 33. Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any improvements have been made to the time in which results of cervical cancer screening are issued.
§ Mr. Mellor
We have asked district health authorities to ensure that laboratories report the results of cervical smears to the smear-taker within one month. We are informed on a quarterly basis of districts not meeting this target. In December 1988, 43 districts reported backlogs exceeding one month's work, compared with 54 in September. Among these districts the average length of backlog in December was 6.93 weeks, as against seven weeks in September. We do not have information on processing times in districts which do meet the one-month target.