Cytology champions at Black Country Pathology Services (BCPS) 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.
Cervical screening changed in 2019 to become a Primary HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) test. A huge centralisation of cervical screening services led to more than 50 laboratories bidding for just nine lots across England.
In the West Midlands, (Birmingham, Coventry, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire) Wolverhampton was the successful laboratory. It became one of only eight laboratories in England now providing the Cervical Screening Service, receiving in the region of 360,000 samples every year.
And the all new, fully accredited flagship laboratory, with its team of more than 60 staff, reached a landmark millionth HPV Cervical Screening test in late December 2022.
Now the team is hitting the headlines once more 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. Wolverhampton is the only Cytology Laboratory currently meeting this standard.
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.”
BCPS is the collaboration of all four acute Black Country and West Birmingham NHS Trusts – The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.