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Cervical screeners

The Isle of Man is to be one of the early adopters of human papilloma virus (HPV) primary screening, a new way of examining routine cervical screening samples. The updated screening programme for women aged 25 – 64 is being introduced across England next year.

Changes to the Programme – 2018

From 1 August 2018, Liverpool Clinical Laboratories will be providing the island’s cervical screening service for the Isle of Man.Cervical Screeners logo

Under the current routine Cervical Screening Programme, samples are screened for abnormal cells – using cytology – and only tested for HPV if an abnormality (borderline or low-grade dyskaryosis) is detected.

The majority of cervical cancers are caused by persistent HPV infection and the improved change in testing ‘flips’ the process so that HPV testing is done first. If HPV is found, it is a useful guide as to whether abnormal cells may be present and cytology can be carried out.

Improvements to the Island’s cervical screening programme will offer better outcomes for women with the change to the improved testing. Evidence suggests screening for HPV first is a more effective way to alert women they’re at risk of developing cervical cancer, ensuring further investigation and treatment is carried out at an early stage, to prevent the disease. Where no HPV is found women can be reassured they’re at very low risk of developing cervical cancer.

There will be no change for patients when they have their test. Letters inviting women for screening will be sent out in the normal way and the procedure for having the sample taken will be exactly the same.

For more details on the changes which affect this programme refer to the new Standard Operating Procedure for Cervical Screening effective from 28 June 2018 and view the updated Isle of Man, Cervical Screening Programme flowchart which shows the whole Cervical Screening Call/Recall process.

Training for existing sample takers

Pathology currently holds a list of professionals who undertake screening and if you have already taken screening samples over the past 12 months you should by now have received an invitation letter to undertake the new training module held on E-Learn Vannin.

This module is called Primary High Risk HPV Testing with Cytology Triage Awareness Training which will take 30-40 minutes to complete. Please be advised that this training module MUST be completed before 31 July 2018.

If you have any problems accessing the course or have not received an invitation letter to complete training, please contact the eLearn Vannin Helpdesk by email at or by telephone on 687546.

We recommend that this training module will also be of interest to anyone who advises women about screening too. Note that this online module is only available to government healthcare professionals.

New sample takers

If you wish to register as a new sample taker, please in the first instance speak to your Line Manager or relevant Lead to discuss undertaking the appropriate training required. 

Once this has been completed a new sample taker code and further information can be requested from

Further ongoing Continued Professional Development (CPD) regarding the NHS Cervical Screening Programme can be undertaken: NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

For Community Care, Cervical Screening Call / Recall queries


For details on the Sample takers training module on E-Learn Vannin


To register as a New sample taker with Pathology


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