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Gynaecological cytology FAQs

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about using our gynaecological cytology service.

If your question is not answered here, try the gynaecological cytology user guide or contact us.


(Last updated March 30th 2016)

The laboratory will deliver a 12-month supply of kits to each practice/clinic. If there are any issues relating to the provision of LBC kits, contact the laboratory on 0161 276 5172.

To order paper request forms, contact us on 0161 276 5172.

Alternatively, the electronic HMR101 form can be used.

The Manchester Cytology Centre processes and reports SurePath® cervical LBC samples. These should only be collected by trained sample takers.

Training in sample collection for primary care staff is available on request from the cytology training leads at the local Primary Care Trust.

The cytology training lead can also arrange for three-yearly update training for sample takers so they remain aware of developments within the cervical screening programme and to maintain competence.

See instructions on sample collection.

Samples taken from women within the NHSCSP screening age ranges that have adequate cellularity can be tested for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV).

Women are ineligible if they are below the minimum age for screening or if their sample contains insufficient squamous cells as scanty samples may yield a false negative HR-HPV result.

See patient management information.

Experience gained from the HPV triage pilots, in which the Manchester Cytology Centre was involved, has enabled the programme to move forward with HPV triage of borderline changes and mild dyskaryosi.

Testing will now be introduced to the programme. This means that any women who have a cervical screening test result of borderline changes or mild dyskaryosis will automatically have an HPV test performed on their sample (where HPV triage is implemented).

If HPV is found they will be referred for colposcopy and if HPV is not found they will be returned to routine screening every three or five years depending on their age.

In addition to HPV triage, an HPV 'Test of Cure' is being introduced for women who have undergone treatment for CIN.

This means that HPV tests will be carried out on samples from women who have a normal screening test result after having treatment for CIN.

If HPV is not found then the women will not be recalled for screening for a further three years. If, however, HPV is found or the screening test does show an abnormality the women will be referred again to colposcopy.

For more information see the NHSCSP webpage on the evaluation of Sentinel Sites for HPV triage and test of cure.

Manchester Cytology Centre (MCC) has well-established systems and several years of experience with direct referral to colposcopy.

We currently operate a direct referral programme to 13 colposcopy units and liaise with LASCA, Manchester and North Cumbria screening agencies to generate direct referral result letters.

The direct referral policy documents produced by MCC in collaboration with the colposcopy clinics incorporate a protocol for the allocation of appointments based on the cytology result.

This information is provided to the colposcopy clinic by the MCC, via the screening agencies and allows efficient use of appointments to ensure women at highest risk get the earliest appointments.

See more information.