Cervical screening success

Women in Norfolk are getting their results from cervical screening faster than ever before - thanks to the success of a pilot scheme.

Women in Norfolk are getting their results from cervical screening faster than ever before - thanks to the success of a pilot scheme.

The results of almost every test in the NHS Norfolk area were returned to patients within two weeks and in many cases in just seven days.

Fiona Kelly, screening programmes lead at NHS Norfolk, said: 'It is a tribute to the hard work of the teams involved.

'It is clearly reassuring for women to have their results quicker. It minimises any worry they might have and maximises the speed that treatment can be given if required.'


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The two laboratories which process cervical screening samples from women in the NHS Norfolk area both took part in a pilot scheme to improve their procedures and speed up results.

The teams are the Norfolk and Waveney Cellular Pathology Network based at the Cotman Centre on the Norwich Research Park and also the West Anglian Pathology laboratory in Newmarket, operated by the Cambridge University Hospitals Trust.

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The Norwich laboratory was a pilot site for the new liquid-based test which replaced the smear. It is also currently one of three pilot sites in England which are pioneering further new testing methods. It is expected these will further improve screening for those more vulnerable to the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is responsible for 70pc of all cervical cancer.

Cervical screening has seen a marked improvement in the county since the formation of the Norfolk and Waveney Cellular Pathology Network in 2005.

In 2008, just 10 out of every 100 results were turned round in two weeks, now that figure is 100 out of 100.

The team reported a sudden rise in the number of cervical screening tests carried out following the death of reality television celebrity Jade Goody last year.

Ms Kelly added: 'It is important to stress that everyone who receives a letter from their GP should go for their screening - it is a potential life saver. Equally, anyone who receives a recall letter should visit their GP as soon as possible.'

About 2,800 women develop cervical cancer each year, causing 1,000 deaths each year in the UK but it can be prevented in 75pc of cases by early detection through screening.

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