The current National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) utilising cervical cytology as the primary test will change from Wednesday 26th July 2023. The new primary screening test from this date will be the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) nuclei acid amplification test. This new HPV molecular test will be more sensitive than the current cytology leading to better health outcomes for the women of New Zealand.
Pathlab will be providing HPV Primary Screening and cytology services to all health providers in the Midcentral, Whanganui, Tairawhiti, and Hawkes Bay regions. As part of the NCSP HPV Primary Screening Program, SurePath has been selected as the liquid-based cytology (LBC) vial.
This means that from 1st July all providers currently using ThinPrep LBC must change to SurePath LBC.
When implemented the new HPV Primary Screening test can either be performed on the current SurePath LBC vial or utilising a self-collected or clinician collected vaginal swab. Pathlab will be using the BD Onclarity HPV test for analysing these specimens. Cytology will still be utilised but as a reflex test for HPV positive patients or co-test in symptomatic patients. (If an HPV swab is positive then the patient will be asked to return so a SurePath LBC can be collected for the reflex cytology.)
For further information about the HPV Primary Screening changes please refer to the Time to Screen website, https://www.timetoscreen.nz/cervical-screening/changes-to-the-test/.
For Midcentral, Whanganui, Tairawhiti regions, specimen pickup and provision of consumables will be through the current Medlab Central courier services and eOrdering systems.
For Hawkes Bay, Specimen pickup and provision of consumables will be through Awanui Labs (SCL) or Hawkes Bay Hospital courier services and ordering systems.
SurePath orders will be dispatched as they are received but HPV swab orders will not be dispatched until the week starting 10th July.
The HPV swabs must not be used for specimen collection until the HPV Primary Screening go live date on 26th July 2023.
If you have any questions please refer to the Pathlab website HPV page, https://www.pathlab.co.nz/hpv or contact us either by phone on 07 578 7073 or using the secure contact form, https://www.pathlab.co.nz/contact