We have detected that you are using Internet Explorer to visit this website. Internet Explorer is now being phased out by Microsoft. As a result, NHS Digital no longer supports any version of Internet Explorer for our web-based products, as it involves considerable extra effort and expense, which cannot be justified from public funds. Some features on this site will not work. You should use a modern browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you have difficulty installing or accessing a different browser, contact your IT support team.
Before invitations are sent out, GPs receive prior notification lists (PNLs) of women who are eligible for screening. These lists act as a failsafe mechanism, allowing GPs to review who is to be invited for screening. This review ensures that invitations are not sent to women who, for example, may have left the area, or are currently undergoing medical treatment.
The system receives the results back from pathology laboratories, which are forwarded onto the women's own GPs. Depending on the results, women will either be placed into routine recall (and be invited for a smear test in three or five years time), invited for further tests, or will receive medical treatment.
In 2013, the system was expanded to include human papilloma virus (HPV) Primary Screening, including a prototype HPV reporting database.