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Cervical smear test waiting times soar

Waiting times for cervical smear test results are soaring, with women waiting up to eight weeks in some areas.

The increase is thought to be an after-effect of the publicity surrounding Jade Goody's public battle with the disease and is forcing laboratory workers to work overtime to get the results to women within the usual six weeks.

NHS Birmingham East and North said processing times were around six to eight weeks at the moment, compared with an average of three to four weeks last year.

A Department of Health spokesman told the Press Association: ‘There has been increased demand on cervical screening services due to recent media attention and some laboratories are experiencing backlogs, but these are being dealt with at a local level.'

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