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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 or contact the Cytology Administration and Laboratory IT teams


(Last updated January 11th 2017)

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.

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.

Smear takers can access the CSTD at http://cstd.cmft.nhs.uk and Practice Managers, Training Providers and Hospital Based Programme Coordinators can access it at http://cstd/cmft.nhs.uk/admin

User manuals are available for smear takers, practice managers and training providers. Click here to access the manuals

Visit https://cytoice.cmft.nhs.uk/icedesktop/

Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 in compatibility mode is required.

Or, if your practice has completed the required paperwork, through your EMIS or Vision clinical system

Visit https://cytoice.cmft.nhs.uk/icedesktop/ and click on the login button to the left of the screen.

Note on the next page a 'User Guides' section.

Where you see 'For complete guide on how to use this system follow the link' click on the word 'link' to access a series of manuals informing you how to use ICE.

Please e-mail labs.sd@cmft.nhs.uk with a list of doctors at your practice along with your practice name and address.

We will ensure they are added.

In the username and password box please enter either your GMC or NMC number

Not in this first phase, however, we are going to be working with pilot sites to build this into phase 2 which will go live later this year.

Please e-mail labs.sd@cmft.nhs.uk stating in the subject heading 'Page not found error in Cyto ICE' with your practice details in the main text.

We will then bring the CSU together with the network team at CMFT to resolve your access issue.

Please e-mail labs.sd@cmft.nhs.uk with your personal details, including GMC or NMC number.

We will check that you are on the approved list of sample takers as provided to us by NHS England.

If you are on the list we will ensure your account is created and a password is e-mailed back to you.

If you are not on the list, we will send this to NHS England for review.

As you will be aware from prior communications from Pennine Acute Trust (PAT), a backlog of cervical cytology samples built up prior to the transfer of work to Central Manchester (CMFT).

Due to the need to report the work already received at PAT staff only transferred on 18th April following completion of reporting samples received there. However, samples have been received by CMFT since 1st April. This delayed transfer of staff has effectively transferred the already existing backlog to CMFT, and as a result the current turnaround time for samples received at CMFT is 3-4 weeks.

Staff are working closely together to ensure the present delays in turnaround time are temporary and the national 14 day turnaround target is restored as soon as possible without compromising the quality and diagnostic accuracy of the service.

Please advise women from whom you take tests of this delay.

Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

Contacts for further queries: Adanna Ehirim/Richard Lambert on 0161 276 5119

We have endeavoured to set up electronic reporting into all GP systems who have sent back their details.

However, as a failsafe we will also be sending paper results in all cases initially in addition to any electronic results.

If you have electronic resulting in place you will receive a letter in due course asking you to confirm that the electronic results you have received match the paper results, we will then turn off paper results and paper copy reports will no longer be sent to your practice.

Contacts for further queries: Adanna Ehirim/Richard Lambert on 0161 276 5119