Cervical Sample Takers Database

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The Cervical Sample Takers Database (CSTD) has been designed for the quality assurance of cervical sample takers. All cervical sample takers in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire will need to be registered on the system to ensure the laboratory holds a centralised list of all sample takers working in these areas and can provide up-to-date information on each sample taker's performance data and training.


The success of the Cervical Sample Takers Database relies on the users accepting and undertaking their assigned responsibilities. All users must ensure that any information they record on the database is accurate and they should ensure that the database is kept up-to-date following new user creation or any changes at later stages. It is important that the database is accessed by users regularly to monitor sample taker performance so any areas of concern can be highlighted and steps can be taken to resolve the problem quickly, reducing the risk to patients.

CSTD user manuals

RAG rating explained

The RAG rating for the percentage of samples meeting the sample acceptance criteria:

  • RED = 5% – 100% of samples rejected (at least 1 in 20 samples)
  • AMBER = 1% – 4% of samples rejected
  • GREEN = 0% of samples rejected

Inadequate rating explained

The cervical screening laboratory processes and examines samples using both cytology primary screening and HPV primary screening and this is determined by the CCG that the sample taker works in.

The two systems have very different inadequate rates so sample takers need to be aware of how the laboratory will process and report the samples that they send.

Inadequate rates at November 2018:

  • HPV primary screening = 0.14%
  • SurePath cytology primary screening = 1.3%
  • ThinPrep cytology primary screening = 3.6%

Cytology ICE manuals

(Last reviewed May 2019)