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Routine audit is an ethical requirement of screening

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 12 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1179
  1. Peter Sasieni, coordinator, cervical screening audit,
  2. Jack Cuzick, head of mathematics, statistics, and epidemiology 13 other authors: Peter Boyle, chairman of prevention and control, Imperial Cancer Research Fund; Penny Craddock, chairman, WNCCC—Cancer Aware; Trevor Hince, director, scientific department, Cancer Research Campaign; Henry Kitchener, president, British Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; John Lilleyman, president, Royal College of Pathologists; James McEwen, president, Faculty of Public Health Medicine; Rebecca Miles, senior manager, National Cancer Alliance; Monica Roche, chairman, UK Association of Cancer Registries; Maurice Slevin, chairman, CancerBACUP; Martin Vessey, emeritus professor of public health, University of Oxford; Nicholas Wald, editor, Journal of Medical Screening; Nichola Wilkins, chief executive, Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene and Society of Public Health; Nicholas Young, chief executive, Macmillan Cancer Relief.
  1. Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London WC2A 3PX

    EDITOR—Cervical screening saves about 1300 lives each year in England and Wales.1 We regard audit as an essential part of the screening programme and urge health authorities to continue this activity despite recent concerns about using patient information without informed consent.

    Poor quality screening is ineffective and may do more harm than good. Women screened in the NHS can expect a high quality service in which smears are properly taken and read to a high standard and the results stored to ensure appropriate management. Audit is part …

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