§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on breast cancer screening for the over 65s in(a) Coventry, South and (b) nationally. 
§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 6 November 2000]: The National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) invites women aged 50–64 to be screened by mammography every three years, and women over 65 are eligible for screening every three years on request. A total of 88,119 women over 65 were screened in England in 1998–99, of which 954 were screened in Coventry. The Coventry screening programme covers Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.
The NHS Cancer Plan announced that the NHSBSP will extend routine invitations for screening to women aged 65–70 by 2004. Women aged over 70 will be offered free three yearly screening on request, as women over 65 are now. It is anticipated that the first breast screening programmes in England will start inviting women over 65 in 2001–02, with all programmes starting by 2004, benefiting 400,000 women each year.