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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2012-2013

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Regions, Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups
Date Range:
01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013


This report presents information about the NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England in 2012-13 and includes data on the call and recall system, screening samples examined by pathology laboratories and referrals to colposcopy clinics.

11 November 2014:

Subsequent to publication on 24 October 2013 a small number of minor errors have been identified in Table 1 of the Excel file:

Table 1 - 2011, women with high-grade abnormalities (20-64 years) and percentage of samples found inadequate (25-64 years)

Table 1 - 2013 - number of samples examined (all ages, 20-64, 25-64)

Some figures for Table U in the PDF report were also incorrect.

All figures affected are at England level only. The HSCIC has reissued the figures in Table 1 in the Excel tables file, and apologises for any inconvenience caused. The PDF report has not been re-issued but figures in Table 20 of the Excel file (from which Table U is sourced) are correct.


  • At 31st March 2013, the percentage of eligible women (aged 25 to 64) who were recorded as screened adequately at least once in the previous five years (coverage) was 78.3 per cent. This compares with 78.6 per cent at 31 March 2012. The long term trend shows a gradual fall in coverage over the last 10 years. Apart from an increase in 2009, coverage has either fallen or remained unchanged each year since 2003 when it was 81.2 per cent.
  • The fall in coverage in the last year was most notable amongst younger women aged 25 to 49 years. Coverage of the full 25 to 49 year age group, measured at three and a half years to reflect the three year recall interval, fell to 71.5 per cent at 31st March 2013 from 73.5 per cent at the same point in 2012. Coverage for women aged 50-64 years (which is measured over a five year period) fell to 77.5 per cent on 31st March 2013 from 77.8 per cent the previous year.
  • A total of 4.24 million women aged 25 to 64 were invited for screening in 2012-13, a fall of 9.7 per cent from 2011-12 when 4.69 million were invited. This was accompanied by a fall in the number of women aged 25 to 64 years tested. In total, 3.32 million women aged 25 to 64 years were tested in 2012-13, a fall of 6.8 per cent from 2011-12 when 3.56 million were tested.
  • 3.57 million samples were examined by pathology laboratories in 2012-13. This compares with 3.87 million in 2011-12. Of the samples examined in 2012-13, 3.36 million (94.1 per cent) were submitted by GPs and NHS Community Clinics.
  • A total of 167,394 referrals to colposcopy were reported in 2012-13, an increase of 13.2 per cent from 2011-12 (147,889 referrals). The large increase in referrals is likely to be partly due to the roll-out of HPV testing.


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Last edited: 14 September 2020 8:31 am