Targets Exceeded For Smear Test Results

Women in Suffolk and Norfolk are getting their cervical smear test results up to three times quicker than elsewhere in the country.

During the 18 months since the high profile death of Jade Goody from cervical cancer, there has been evidence of more women nationally attending for cervical screening.

In December this year, the Department of Health's Cancer Reform Strategy will introduce a national standard stating that women should receive their result letters within 14 days of the test - as opposed to the current six weeks.

This is to reduce anxiety in women awaiting the results of their screening.

Locally however, NHS shared services provider Anglia Support Partnership - is already well on the way to meeting the target six months ahead of schedule.

Working in support of the Primary Care Trusts in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Great Yarmouth and Waveney, ASP sends out invitations to around 4,000 women each week inviting them to attend a routine cervical screening at their GP surgery.

In addition, a further 2,000 reminders are sent out weekly.

A copy of every result is put onto the ASP system, and letter sent directly to the patient on behalf of their GP.

Claire Robinson, Head of Screening at ASP, said: "Over the past 18 months the whole team has worked very closely with the PCT, laboratories and NHS colleagues to ensure that almost 100 per cent of women now receive their results within less than 14 days.

"This is a fantastic achievement and my thanks to everyone who has made this possible."

Claire added: "The current waiting time for results is six weeks, but the soon to be imposed national target of 14 days considerable reduces the anxiety of women awaiting their results. Our role as ASP is to work alongside the PCTs in an administrative capacity, but nevertheless last year there has been an increase in the number of women attending their routine screening appointment."


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