PERFORMANCE: An NHS London report has highlighted “stark” differences in the effectiveness of chlamydia screening programmes across its primary care trusts.

Results for the second quarter of 2010-11 have led to NHS Lewisham being ranked number one in the country

for coverage of programmes, while Harrow is ranked at only 147.

The report, released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed four of the most financially challenged PCTs in the capital had the lowest screening rates.

Harrow, Sutton and Merton, Enfield and Barnet PCTs - all fighting to claw back significant deficits - had tested between 3 and 4.2 per cent of their target populations.

NHS Lewisham and NHS Lambeth reported 13.2 and 12.6 per cent respectively in the same quarter. The paper said: “The quality of services [across the capital] remains extremely variable in terms of positivity rate, the proportion of people diagnosed with chlamydia that are treated and partner notification and treatment.

“There is a stark contrast in the quality and range of services provided, with sometimes limited provision for adults over the age of 21, reflecting the emphasis to date on reducing teenage pregnancy.”