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​​Cervical screening updates and reminders​​​

Please note the following:

Cervical screening: Out of programme samples

  • The London cervical screening sample handling guidelines (April 2015) have a section regarding "Out of programme samples". These are cervical screening tests taken outside the normal intervals of the NHSCSP; e.g.
    • Tests taken before the woman has received her first invitation for screening.
    • Tests taken on women over 65 years old.
    • Tests taken for clinical symptoms (appropriate management is to refer the woman to gynaecology).
    • Tests taken out of recommended recall (i.e. taken more than six months early for any normal recall; taken more than one month early for any six or 12 months recall; taken less than three months following the last test).
    • Vault samples (women who have undergone TAH) for benign/non-cervical cancer. Vault samples should only be taken by Colposcopy.
  • The laboratory discards out of programme samples and will send a covering letter to the sample taker, in line with London sample handling policy.
  • If in doubt please refer to: Cervical screening: programme overview - Detailed guidance - GOV.UK

Cervical screening: HIV-positive women

  • Please highlight on the request form (in the clinical details field) if a woman is HIV positive to ensure the correct recall is given (12 months for normal recall).
  • Please check the recall is correct when you receive cervical cytology results for HIV positive women.


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