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Cervical screening bulletin - 2017 June

Update November 2019

Cervical Screening administration support

The Cervical Screening administration service is now managed by the NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS). All information relating to the Cervical Screening administration service can now be found on the NHS Cervical Screening Administration Service website. Please visit that page for further details, contact us page, and cervical screening administration forms.


Welcome to the June edition of your PCSE bulletin

In this bulletin you will find updates on:

  • The new process for colposcopy discharge to primary care
  • Ceasing forms for use in GP practices
  • How to contact PCSE
    • General contact detail
    • Specific screening email addresses
  • Contacting the Customer Support Centre – laboratories and clinics
  • Important information regarding emailing Personal Confidential Data
  • National Operational Review meeting
  • Ransomware incident
  • Future service developments
    • Would you like to get involved in testing the new service?


New process for colposcopy discharge to primary care

Public Health England (PHE) has developed national guidance for colposcopy regarding the discharge of women back to Primary Care. The new guidance was published on 2 March 2017. 

To enable the PCSE screening team to update the Next Test Due Date (NTDD) appropriately, we would appreciate the support of colposcopy services in following PHE’s guidance, which is presented here for ease of reference: 

Colposcopy clinics should inform PCSE of women who have been discharged from colposcopy care for follow up in the community.  The method of notification is a monthly list submitted to PCSE in an electronic file, which can be transmitted securely via N3 (NHS net). 

PHE have produced a template for submitting the monthly lists, which is attached to their guidance.  Use of the template is not mandatory but PCSE requests that lists submitted in alternative formats should include the same amount of information as is required in the template.

The discharge lists should be emailed to the PCSE screening team, putting Discharge List in the subject line.  PCSE will acknowledge receipt of the list and notify clinics if there are any records that cannot be amended.

The PCSE screening team will then update the NTDD of each woman as specified in the lists, according to the following:

  • Colposcopy will provide a recommended recall interval based on the date of the woman’s last adequate colposcopy examination in line with programme guidance.
  • The call and recall service will ensure that the maximum recall intervals are not exceeded.

It is recommended that colposcopy services provide data to the PCSE screening team on a monthly basis as a minimum.  They should either be numbered sequentially or have a date range. If any discharge lists are received out of sequence PCSE will contact the relevant clinic to ensure all data has been received.

PCSE will not be able to undertake audits of data received if clinics are not submitting discharge lists.  Therefore, clinics must ensure that they submit data in a timely manner and maintain an appropriate audit of data sent.

When a woman has been discharged to Primary Care and PCSE has acknowledged receipt, ongoing responsibility for failsafe rests with the call and recall system and the woman’s GP.

Please note: The PCSE screening team cannot accept copies of GP discharge letters from colposcopy clinics as this is a breach of information governance (IG) rules. Any such discharge letters will be returned to the originating clinic unprocessed.


Ceasing forms for use in GP practices

In our last bulletin, we also said that Public Health England (PHE) are standardising the Ceasing forms for use in GP practices.  We know that this process is still ongoing and we will work with PHE to share the new guidance and forms when they are available.


How to contact PCSE

Our contact details

As per the last bulletin, we want to ensure you have the correct contact details to access your PCSE screening administration support services.

For the majority of service users, the PCSE Customer Support Centre (CSC) is now your main point of contact.  If historically your local office was Clacton, you should continue contacting that office directly through your usual channels (however please see below for a change in the screening email address). 

The contact details for the PCSE Customer Support Centre are:


0333 014 2884

Generic email

For all general queries, please contact us at: *deleted email address*

Please put the service you are contacting us about in the email subject line to help us direct your query as efficiently as possible.


Primary Care Support England, PO Box 350, Darlington, DL1 9QN


Full contact details


Specific screening email addresses

*Please note the Clacton screening email address has been amended since the previous bulletin*

All laboratories and clinics should have been advised which PCSE office is managing their work.  If your work is managed by the Clacton office, please note the email address to access your screening administration services, including CRUK requests and colposcopy discharge lists is: *deleted email address*

The screening addresses for other PCSE offices are unchanged:

Leeds office: *deleted email address*

Preston office: *deleted email address*

If you are unsure which office is managing your work, please contact your local Regional Liaison Manger whose contact details can be found on the PCSE website.


Contacting the Customer Support Centre – laboratories and clinics

There have been some incidents where PCSE has received unencrypted emails containing PCD - personal confidential data (previously known as PID – personally identifiable data).

Please can we ask for your support in ensuring that PCD is not transferred electronically unless it is encrypted or sent via a secure email address.

To ensure information is secured in transit, PCD can be sent from and to a verified secure email address e.g. from nhs.net to nhs.net, gcsx.gov.uk, pnn.police.uk, etc. If practices, labs and clinics are not using NHS mail then they will need to encrypt emails containing PCD. Please note, nhs.uk is not a secure email domain. If you have any queries on this, please contact your information governance lead.


National Operational Review meeting

As part of PCSE’s commitment to providing a supportive service for the national call/recall programme, we hold a monthly operational review meeting with regional representation from Screening and Immunisation Leads (SiLS) and laboratory colposcopy. 

The meeting is an opportunity to look at ways we can improve how we work together, hear your feedback and share updates.  It is chaired by Kirsty Wenzel, Head of Screening at PCSE, and takes place monthly via teleconference and quarterly face-to-face.  If you are interested in joining the National Operational Review meeting or would like to find out who your representative is, please contact *deleted email address*


Ransomware incident

PCSE services were not affected by the Ransomware incident in May however a number of NHS trusts were delayed in transferring laboratory links results to us.  Once PCSE received the files, they were all worked within the agreed timeframes.

In an unrelated matter, due to a technical difficulty, screening files received on 25 and 26 May were processed on time with all letters being sent on Saturday 27 May.


Future service developments

PCSE is committed to delivering NHS England’s vision for more modern, efficient and easy to use support services.  Planning for how we will achieve this transformation for the cervical screening community is now underway.

Our aim is to design and implement a system that will simplify and, where possible, speed up some of the steps in the process to ensure we deliver the most effective service for you. The new approach will introduce a more uniform process across the country, which we anticipate will launch in summer 2018.

The main difference for screening will be that the current NHAIS database and Open Exeter interface (also known as the ‘Exeter system’) will be replaced by a single database accessed via the PCSE online portal. 

The replacement of the 83 NHAIS databases, including Defence Medical Services (DMS), to one single system will provide the National Screening Programme and the Ministry of Defence with a more efficient and robust technology platform.  

Much of the functionality in the system will be familiar but the portal will have a different look and feel to Open Exeter and will be more intuitive to use.  Envisaged benefits will include:

  • Reduction of duplicate records across different NHAIS systems
  • Less manual processing meaning some of the processes can be speeded up
  • Errors will be reduced as data will be validated online
  • Timeliness and accuracy of calls/re-calls will improve once the many current NHAIS systems are replaced with a single IT system
  • Improved management information.

Ultimately, more modern technology will enable PCSE to work more efficiently to provide a secure and effective call/recall process to support the National Screening Programme.  We will use this bulletin to keep you informed of further progress and share updates.  If you have any enquiries about the service developments, please contact your local NET team representative


Would you like to get involved in testing the new service?

To ensure the new cervical screening call/recall service works as expected, PCSE wants to involve service users in testing the new technology before it is introduced nationally.  Coupled with this, we also want to create simple to use, accessible guidance materials.  We are keen to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved.

What will testing involve

The new service will see all call/recall processes, laboratory results and colposcopy discharge lists being managed via the PCSE portal.  We need service users to review the portal to make sure it is intuitive, easy to follow and enables you to navigate the system to carry out your usual screening administration tasks.  The user testing happens in a test environment which is the same as the live system.

It is also important all service users have access to user guidance about the portal.  If you volunteer, we would also invite you to help inform PCSE about the appropriate user guidance required for different stakeholder groups.

Who can take part?

We would like representation from:

  • Sample takers, including GP practices, community clinics, detained estates – those who can check screening histories and are able to print off the HMR form
  • GP admin staff - those who do Prior Notification Lists (PNLs) and electronic cards via Open Exeter
  • Laboratories – those responsible for sending results and tracing patients
  • Colposcopy – those who do patient tracing and providing discharge lists
  • Defence Medical Services
  • Child Health teams who currently use Open Exeter to upload their HPV vaccination data

How soon can you get involved?

We would like to start engaging with users as soon as possible.  Currently, our plan is to develop training materials from October 2017, but if you are interested in being involved we would like to involve you in some show and tell sessions sooner.

How do you get involved?

If you are interested in taking part, please contact *deleted email address* or your local NET team representative


Best wishes


Primary Care Support England