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Cervical Screening Administration Service Transfer

A briefing for staff in contact with the service.

BAC have been sent the following briefing statement from NHS England about the impending transfer of the Call & Recall system, currently run by Capita but about to transfer to the NHS on 1 August 2019. The new system will be called NHS Cervical Screening Administration Services. Communications are to be sent out to all organisations whose work brings them into contact with the service.

From 1 August 2019, the administration service that supports the national cervical screening programme will transfer to the NHS.  The service produces and sends out the cervical screening invitation, reminder and result letters each year to women.

This briefing provides information for staff whose work brings them in contact with the service about the transfer and those changes.  This includes staff in GP practices, clinics and Screening and Immunisation Leads (SILs).

While women who receive cervical screening invitations, reminder and result letters should see no change, the transfer will mean some practical changes to the administration of the service and this briefing explains some of those changes.   

Changes from 1 August 2019

The service is currently managed by Primary Care Support England (PCSE), run by Capita.  From 1 August 2019, the service will be managed by the NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS).  Commissioning Support Units are part of the NHS and provide a range of services to NHS organisations locally and nationally.  The new service will be called NHS Cervical Screening Administration Services.

The transfer will happen in two phases.  The first phase will involve around 100 staff, who currently provide the service, becoming employees of NECS.  This means that staff you currently interact with will remain the same and will continue to work from their current sites in Preston and Leeds, using a combination of PCSE and new NHS systems.

The second phase is planned to happen in November 2019 and will involve the staff relocating to NHS run buildings in Preston and Leeds and moving to working on NHS systems.

Contacting NHS Cervical Screening Administration Services from 1 August 2019

Some of the contact points for customers and stakeholders will change from 08.00 on 1 August 2019 as part of the service transition.

  • Online forms will be hosted on a new NECS website at  Web content will transfer, including forms such as cease/defer/reinstate.  End users will see no difference to these forms other than a change in branding (see above) and instructions about contact points.  
  • Any submissions to PCSE right up to the point of change will be processed.  
  • After 1 August 2019, any email sent to previous PCSE inboxes will have clear redirect information for service users.  Similar messages on the PCSE website and cervical screening messages will have redirect links to NECS new website at This will remain in place for a period of time.The PO Box will change from 1 August for paper correspondence, new details are as follows: PO Box 572, Darlington DL1 9AG. 
  • During the transition, telephone contact will continue to be routed through the PCSE Customer Support Centre and the number (0333 014 2884) will remain in

Additional Q&A

What are you doing to ensure a safe transfer of the service?

An NHS programme board has been established to manage the transition and NECS, PCSE and NHSE are working together to ensure a safe and smooth transfer of services. 

Will there be any difference in the service provided by the NHS Cervical Screening Administration Services?

Aside from some of the contact changes listed above, staff whose work brings them into contact with the services will be dealing with the same experienced administration staff they have dealt with before.

For customers, there will be no change to the way queries are currently handled when staff transfer to NECS on 1 August 2019.  There may be some changes to the systems staff work on to manage those queries, but this will not impact on the service to end users.

Is this move in-house related to the screening incident?

Last year, NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned a national review of all screening programmes including breast, bowel and cervical screening programmes as part of a renewed drive to improve national screening programmes and improve patient care.  The aim is to look at how screening policy should be reformed, how all the screening programmes should be delivered in the future and how best to integrate screening programmes with other NHS cancer programme initiatives. 

As part of this review, NHSE/I is looking to transfer the cervical screening administration service back to the NHS.  This will allow for more clinical input and better integration with other screening programmes.

What will happen with the Cervical Screening IT Transformation Programme?

The Cervical Screening IT Transformation Programme is not affected by the transfer.  The programme of activity had previously been paused whilst NHS England and NHS Improvement and NHS Digital review options for data management.

What will happen with initiatives that are planned for this year, e.g. the ceasing audit and enable labs for HPV testing? All current projects and activities will continue.  Where these are ‘in-flight’ at the point of transfer, they will continue to be undertaken and delivered by the NHS.