Update on National Cervical Screening Program correspondence

  25 February 2019  Australian Government Department of Health   |   Third party content – view disclaimer
Routine rescreen reminders
The National Cancer Screening Register (the national Register) has been supporting the renewed National Cervical Screening Program (the Program) since the commencement of the new HPV-based Cervical Screening Test on 1 December 2017.

From 2 July 2018, following the migration of records of state and territory cervical screening Registers to the national Register, the national Register became responsible for all Program correspondence.

Since that time, the Register has been sending correspondence in priority order for women who had not undertaken the expected follow-up of an abnormal result.

During November and in early December 2018, the national Register commenced sending reminders to women who are overdue for their next routine Cervical Screening Test. This correspondence is being sent using a staged approach, prioritising letters to women who are most overdue.

From early January 2019, the volume of these letters will increase until March 2019 to address a backlog, after which time normal mail distribution volumes will resume.

Impact on health care providers

Some health care providers may experience an increase in patient enquiries and requests for cervical screening tests during this period. Women should be reassured by their cervical screening test providers that while it is recommended that asymptomatic women aged 25-74 years undergoing routine screening have their first HPV-based screening test two years after their last Pap test, the risk from delaying their test for a few months is extremely low.

Contact the Register

If you are unsure of your patient’s cervical screening history or status, or have any questions relating to participant and health care provider correspondence, please call the National Cancer Screening Register Contact Centre team on 1800 627 701 (between 8:00am and 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, in all Australian state and territory time zones) or visit the National Cancer Screening Register website.

About the National Cancer Screening Register

The Register is a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage and reporting of data for the National Cervical Screening Program. The Register does not replace the relationship between the health care provider and their patients, but plays an important role, including sending initial and rescreen invitations (and reminders if required), reminders for follow up tests if required, and maintaining participants’ details, test results and screening histories.

Past cervical screening records held by the state and territory cervical screening registers have been migrated to the national Register. While health care providers should continue to contact the relevant pathology laboratory for recent test results, the information held in the national Register will allow providers to check the cervical screening histories of their patients, regardless of who ordered previous tests and where in Australia these tests were performed.

The National Cancer Screening Register supports the Program by:

  • Inviting eligible people to participate in cervical screening.
  • Reminding Program participants when they are due for cervical screening.
  • Providing Program participants’ cervical screening histories to health care providers and laboratories to assist patient clinical management and the reporting of current test results, respectively.
  • Providing a ‘safety net’ back-up for Program participants who require, but have not attended for further testing when due, by prompting women and their health care providers of the need for the follow-up testing.

With the Australian Government Department of Health.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Australian Government Department of Health. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.