PERFORMANCE: The north west London primary care trust recorded a screening rate of 8.42 per cent in its most recent performance report.

The target it had been set was to screen 35 per cent of the 15-24-year-old population of the borough and in 2009/10 it achieved a rate of 14.7 per cent.

The report said: “The PCT board agreed the chlamydia screening funding would be cut as part of the PCT’s financial recovery plan.”

The PCT is now forecasting a deficit of £32m for 2011/12. It had previously been forecast as a gap of £51m but Harrow said the difference was accounted for by a planned two per cent income growth and a “risk assessed savings programme of £12m”.

In 2008 the PCT accidentally sent personally-addressed letters intended for 18-24-year-olds inviting them to win an iPod by coming in for chlamydia screening to young children.

The mailshot was sent to more than 10,000 homes and there were more 1,000 complaints.

The letter had also accidentally included the contact number for NHS Greenwich, who received the initial complaints.

An internal report blamed the error on a database operator who had entered the wrong date of birth into the system.