Cervical Cytology

The Cervical Cytology Network provides cervical screening for the areas covered by Addenbrooke's, Hinchingbrooke, West Suffolk, Ipswich, Colchester and East & North Herts Hospitals, as well as the Mid Essex Hospital region.

The hub is based at Newmarket, with a screening satellite at Colchester. The liquid based cytology testing method is Hologic ThinPrep. Please use the correct sampling device and method appropriate for this. The HPV testing platform is the Hologic Panther which is an RNA-based High Risk HPV test.

Laboratory Turnaround Times

This week, commencing 06/11/17 we will be reporting samples taken between 18/09/17 and 30/09/17.

How does this affect when the women will receive their results?

We are currently reporting day 50 - 53 (from sample taken). Please advise patients to expect their result letter within 7 weeks of having their sample taken. If the patient has not received a letter after 45 days, please advise them to contact the practice (the laboratory is unable to speak to patients directly about their results).


When taking a cervical sample, please check the lady has been called for screening on Open Exeter. For repeat samples, a full 3 calendar months must be left between samples. 

Please do not take the sample before the Recall date specified on the Cervical screening reports page on Open Exeter. Samples taken before that date cannot be given a negative report.

HPV Testing

The Cervical Cytology Network HPV testing using national eligibility criteria from 1st June 2013. Any patient attending for cervical screening on or after 1st June 2012 may have a high risk HPV test depending on their clinical history.

Women aged under 24.5 who have not been invited for cervical screening will not be HPV tested. For further information please refer to:

The 'Patient Management Information' and 'Information about Sample Preparation and HPV Testing' sections in the left hand menu

The gov.uk website

 Reminder: Acceptance Policy for Cytology Request forms

In agreement with the screening boards from 01/12/11 we do not process samples received with handwritten request forms unless there is a valid reason given. This includes technical problems or if the patient is newly registered at the surgery. If this is the case please inform the laboratory and write this information on the form.  

Sample takers must use either Open Exeter generated HMR101 request forms or TQuest. Instructions on how to print request forms from Open Exeter are given in the 'Request Forms' section in the left hand menu.

Please contact the laboratory's duty senior on 01223 349662 for advice on using Open Exeter to print the request forms or to discuss any problems.


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