Cervical screening test turnaround times best in UK

31st Jul 2023

Scientists working for NHS trusts in the Black Country have achieved the best turnaround times for cervical screening results in the country – an “outstanding” achievement for a department that has had to adapt to significant change over the last few years.

The Black Country Pathology Services (BCPS) is one of only eight in the country to provide a Cervical Screening service, which has become a Primary HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) test. It receives around 360,000 samples every year.

BCPS is the collaboration of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, and Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

The team are celebrating after achieving a 98 per cent national standard of 14-days turnaround time, from the sample being taken to the result reaching the patient by post. BCPS, based in Wolverhampton, is the only cytology laboratory currently meeting this standard. Cytology is the examination of a single cell type, which is used to diagnose diseases.

Branko Perunovic, Chief Medical Officer for BCPS, said: “This is an outstanding achievement for a team that has, quite honestly, been through such a lot of upheaval and change over the past few years.

“It has been quite a journey to get to this point – from having to await the refurbishment of the lab to house the new service, to colleagues having to absorb a huge amount of work created by the service merger and the COVID-19 pandemic on top of all of that.

“To be best in the country on our turnaround times is amazing and I thank everyone who has contributed to this fantastic result. Importantly, BCPS are so proud to be the frontrunner in providing such an efficient service to our patients for whom these tests are vital.”

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