A total of 98 out of 303 PCTs that existed at the time – the number of PCTs has since been cut to 152 – screened fewer than the target level of 75 per cent of women aged 53 to 64 years old.
The figures were revealed by health minister Ann Keen in response to a parliamentary question.
Ms Keen wrote: 'There are many factors that can affect coverage. These include population mobility in London and other large inner city areas, deprivation, affluence (private health care) and ethnicity.
'It is for strategic health authorities working in partnership with their primary care trusts, local breast screening services and stakeholders to provide appropriate breast screening services for their local populations.'
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