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Cervical Screening Programme - England, 2006-2007

Publication date: 09:30 October 29, 2007


This bulletin presents information about the cervical screening programme in England and includes data about the call and re-call system, screening samples examined by pathology labs and referrals to coloposcopy and subsequent treatment and outcome.

Note: Revision (13 August 2010)

There is a systematic error in the calculation of repeat inadequate samples quoted in paragraph 2.3.1 of the 2008-09 Bulletin and similar figures from 2006 onwards, which has resulted in a slightly inflated percentage being published. This issue will be addressed in the 2009-10 publication and where year on year comparison occurs, historic data will be amended.


There has been a small revision of table 13 within the North East section as of 6/12/2007.

Data for Arrowe Park Hospitals has been revised in Tables 18, 18a and 19 as of 12/2/2008.

Key Facts

At 31 March 2007:

  • over the last ten years the percentage of eligible women who have been screened at least once in the previous 5 years (coverage) has been declining slightly to 79.2 per cent in 2006 compared with 79.5 per cent last year and 82 per cent in 1997
  • coverage was 80 per cent or higher in 71 of the 152 Primary Care Organisations (PCOs).


  • 3.4 million women (all ages) were screened, the majority after a formal invitation from the screening programme, a drop of 6.7 per cent from 2005/06
  • laboratories examined 3.7 million samples (for women of all ages), about 8 per cent fewer than in 2005-06 ( 4 million). This is partly due to the fall in inadequate samples as liquid based cytology (LBC ) continues to roll out
  • the number of women (25-64) tested outside the screening programme in 2006-07 has fallen by 5.2 per cent from last year to about 668,800, this is the lowest figure for at least the last four years (not recorded prior to 2002-03)
  • test results were available for 48 per cent of women within 4 weeks, and 74 per cent within 6 weeks, this is the highest level recorded. As a comparison last years figures were just 32 per cent and 56 per cent respectively
  • the percentage of inadequate samples this year has fallen substantially from being consistently over 9 per cent since recording started in 1998, to 7.2 per cent last year to the lowest figure ever recorded: 4.7 per cent. The main reason is the introduction of LBC as a method of taking samples.


Date Range: 01 April 2006 to 31 March 2007
Geographical coverage: England
Geographical granularity: Country, Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Organisations

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