§ Mr. Haselhurst
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the typical level of coverage achieved within district health authority areas for cancer screening and immunisation; and what information he has on preventive health performance in other European Community countries.
§ Mr. Mellor
For cervical cancer screening, the information is not available in the form requested. Following the introduction of a new statistical return from April 1988, it is hoped to be able to give details of levels of coverage for 1988–89 towards the end of this year. Similarly, following the introduction of a new statistical return for breast cancer screening from April 1989, it is hoped to be able to give details of levels of coverage achieved in 1989–90 towards the end of 1990.
The United Kingdom is the first country in the European Community to implement nationwide cervical cancer screening based on computerised call and recall. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are currently implementing similar programmes for breast cancer screening.
On immunisation, the coverage for England in 1987–88 (the latest year available) averaged 87 per cent. for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, 76 per cent. for measles and 73 per cent. for whooping cough. In that year nearly 100 630W of the English health authorities exceeded 90 per cent. for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, and eight also exceeded that figure for measles.
Although European Community countries make immunisation uptake data available to the World Health Organisation, only the United Kingdom and the Netherlands use similar calculations to derive uptake. It is not therefore possible to make accurate comparisons.