For several months there has been little news to report on the roll out of HPV in England.
The snap general election and the summer period have added to the silence. The BAC has been pressing for an update and information that can be shared.
The attached update from PHE is the latest news that has been made available to the BAC. It lists the areas of progress, and ones still under discussion. The major decision on laboratory configuration has been with NHSE to decide for many months, and was delayed partly it seems pending the announcement by NHS Improvement and the putative 29 pathology networks which was released only very recently (8th September). This would suggest some linkage of lab configuration with the proposed 29 future pathology networks in England. In some areas this would produce a very different looking service for the future, if this is the case.
The update mentions that decisions will hopefully be made in October, at what is a meeting of the NHSE Receiver Board which we believe will consider the laboratory footprint and commissioning arrangements. These decisions are long overdue and until taken do not allow labs, and staff, to plan for the future. The timeframe for implementation now appears to be by 31st December 2019, later than had originally been envisaged. The delivery of IT by Capita is given as a go live date of July 2018. Given all the delays so far and issues with IT delivery it is vital that this is up and working well and reliably prior to full rollout.
Whilst this update answers some questions, it also leaves many unanswered. It would seem that next month will be one for decisions - especially on the laboratory aspects of HPV Screening. The BAC will continue to work to do what we can to effect sensible decision making and get information which we will share when available - it is hoped we will have further updates to be shared at the BAC ASM in York on Saturday 4th November 2017