HPV testing included in cervical screening programme

HPV testing will be included in the cervical screening programme from this year, the director of NHS Cancer Screening Programmes has announced.

HPV testing will be used for the triage of women with borderline or low grade cervical abnormalities. This is designed to increase efficiency and accuracy across the wider NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

NHS Cancer Screening Programmes director Professor Julietta Patnick said that the move would significantly reduce the number of repeat cytology tests required and target colposcopy services more effectively.  

‘This is an important development in our programme enabling us to screen women more effectively and efficiently, reducing unnecessary procedures and minimising any associated anxiety,’ she said.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cancer Screening Programmes said the decision had come after several years of work through the HPV pilot scheme and working analysing the most effective way to incorporate HPV testing into the screening programme.

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