Leeds hospital leads way for smear test results

St James's Hospital.

St James's Hospital.

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A LEEDS hospital is amongst the quickest in the country in providing the results of cervical smear tests.

St James’s Hospital was one of 10 pilot sites trying to speed up the time it takes to turn around the test results, which can show signs of cervical cancer.

Some patients have to wait up to six weeks, but the pilots showed that the tests can be analysed within two weeks or less. This could save the NHS around £100,000 per site, per year.

Most of the hospitals taking part in the pilots provided results within seven days and Leeds was the third quickest, with 93.5 per cent back within seven days and 99.7 per cent back in 14 days.

Dr Patricia Harnden, head of histopathology, cytology and molecular pathology at St James’s, said: “Thanks to the NHS Improvement Team’s advice, we achieved the national 14-day target for cervical screening but also built on this by turning around results within just seven days for the vast majority of women. This has helped many women progress more rapidly to treatment as well as reducing the anxiety women so often experience when waiting for their results.”

It is hoped other areas will now speed up their testing processes so more women can get their results more quickly.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said: “The results from these pilots make clear what is possible when clinicians drive improvements. Most importantly patients get results sooner, diagnosis sooner and, where needed, treatment sooner. But as well as putting the patient at the heart of the NHS, this can save money for reinvestment in the NHS.

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