The current crisis is due to two factors. First, the low pay offered to screeners which, after two years' training, is pounds 9,500 pa (pounds 190 per week) for this skilled and highly responsible job.
Second, the recent revelations of mistakes in the programme at Canterbury and other centres suggesting that the test is failing. The truth is quite the reverse, however, and the public should know that these disclosures are the consequence of the implementation of stringent internal and external auditing programmes.It is ironic and unfair that such a successful programme should be castigated for putting its house in order.
DR P A TROTT
The Royal Marsden Hospital London SW3
Past president of the British Society for Clinical Cytology