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Hospital with 'great track record' wins new cervical screening contract

PUBLISHED: 13:09 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 07 May 2019

The Cotman Centre at the Norwich Research Park, where cervical smear samples are tested. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Cotman Centre at the Norwich Research Park, where cervical smear samples are tested. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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All cervical smears carried out in the East of England will now be tested in Norwich.

Viki Frew in the HPV Lab at the Cotman Centre, where cervical smear samples are prepared for testing. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYViki Frew in the HPV Lab at the Cotman Centre, where cervical smear samples are prepared for testing. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has been named as a successful bidder for a new HPV primary screening contract.

It comes after the cytopathology department was named by NHS England to carry out the NHS cervical screening programme in the region.

Viki Frew, consultant biomedical scientist for cervical screening at NNUH, said: "We are delighted to have been named as the preferred bidder for the East of England and this is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the team.

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"We have a great track record of ensuring that samples are processed efficiently and to a high standard. We will be putting in place our mobilisation and service delivery plans to ensure a smooth transition and samples from across the East of England get to us quickly. We will utilise the best possible IT solutions across the pathway connecting us to GP surgeries and clinics across the region and ensure our legacy of efficiency and accuracy continues."

The NNUH has been carrying out HPV testing since 2001 and has a record of meeting the 14 day turnaround target for cervical smear testing for the last ten years.

The lab, at the Cotman Centre near the NNUH, is one of the largest cytology departments in the country providing cervical screening for the whole of Norfolk, Waveney and Peterborough.

The new contract is due to begin in the summer and the department will be increasing staffing and putting in place the infrastructure to handle smear tests from across six counties.

The HPV test can detect the viruses which are known risk factors for the development of cervical cancer.

Any positive test will be examined under the microscope by scientists in the lab and finding abnormal changes early means that women can be monitored or treated.

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