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National Statistics

Cervical Screening Programme - England, 2007-2008

This is part of

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
Geographical granularity:
Country, Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Organisations
Date range:
01 Apr 2007 to 31 Mar 2008


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.

Key facts

At 31 March 2008:

  • over the last ten years the percentage of eligible women who have been screened at least once in the previous 5 years (coverage) has fallen to 78.6 per cent compared with 79.2 per cent last year and 82.5 per cent in 1998
  • coverage was 80 per cent or higher in 63 of the 152 Primary Care Organisations (PCOs), compared to 71 in the previous year.


  • prior to the introduction of new technology (liquid based cytology - LBC), rates of inadequate samples were over 9 per cent or about 300,000 women a year being screened again. As LBC has been rolled out across the country the rate has fallen every year and is now at a record low of under 3 per cent or less than 100,000 women. (Note, these numbers will include some women who will need more than one repeat test)
  • laboratories examined 3.6 million samples (for women of all ages), about 1 per cent fewer than in 2006-07. This is partly due to the fall in inadequate samples as LBC continues to roll out
  • the number of women invited (25-64) has risen from 4.01 to 4.18 million in the last year, an increase of 4.3 per cent, the largest number of invitations since the introduction of the 25 to 64 target age range
  • the number of women screened (all ages) has remained almost level at 3.4 million, however those within the 25 to 64 age range have risen by 1.7 per cent to 3.2 million
  • test results were available for 60 per cent of women within 4 weeks compared to 48 per cent last year. This year we were able to break this down further with results available within 2 weeks currently at 11 per cent but this is expected to rise
  • the percentage of laboratory tests reported within 4 weeks has continued to improve, rising from 74 per cent last year to 83 per cent this year, the percentage reported within 2 weeks has also risen substantially (from 43 to 49 per cent).


Last edited: 1 October 2018 10:42 am