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Cervical sampling- recent pitfalls

NHSEI regional screening team have identified that there has been an increase in the number of samples being returned as “inadequate”.   The cervical cytology laboratory will return samples as inadequate if the sample taker has not included their GMC/NMC number on the sample and form, or if the sample is taken outside the usual screening cycle.

Sample takers are asked to always include their GMC/NMC number on the sample and form.  If this is not included the lab will return the result as “inadequate” so the lady will require a further cervical sample.  This is unpleasant for the lady, and is time consuming for the lady and the sample taker.

Samples taken earlier than expected for the usual screening cycle will also be returned as “inadequate”.  If there is a clinical reason to perform an early sample collection this needs to be indicated on the request form.

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