§ Sir John Stanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mammograms were taken under the NHS in 1978 and in the latest year for which figures are available; what is the level of provision of mammogram facilities for women in the NHS currently; and what was the comparable level in 1978.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Information on the total number of mammograms taken in the NHS is not available. Data are now being collected centrally on the number of mammograms taken under the NHS screening programme, but these are not yet available for 1990–91. Initial figures collected by radiologists within the NHS breast screening programme suggest that more than 709,000 women had a mammogram under the screening programme in the United Kingdom in 1990–91.
The United Kingdom NHS breast screening programme was launched in 1987 and implemented over the three years to 1990. The aim is to screen all women aged 50 to 64 every three years; screening for older women will be available on request. In England, the screening programme is being provided through 82 new special screening units, to some of which mobile units are attached. Figures for mammogram facilities outside the screening programme are not collected centrally.