The NHS Cervical Screening Programme saves an estimated 5,000 lives every year in the UK and provides the best protection against cervical cancer. However uptake of this life-saving test is at a 19 year low and incidence of cervical cancer is worryingly high with nine women diagnosed with the disease every day in the UK. The National Target for the uptake of cervical screening is 80%. In Hammersmith and Fulham CCG performance is currently 58%.
The target audience -In England, Northern Ireland and Wales and Scotland;
- Women aged 25–49 invited every 3 years
- Women aged 50–64 invited every 5 years
A report by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust was published in January of this year, which audited activities undertaken by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, to increase cervical screening coverage in England. It made some key findings as follows:
- Almost half (44%) of local authorities have not undertaken any activities to increase screening attendance in the last two years
- Almost two thirds (60%) of CCGs have not undertaken any activities to increase screening attendance in the last two years
- Of the local authorities and CCGs who reported undertaking no activity, many simply stated it is not their responsibility to do so
- There are many local authority public health teams and CCGs working hard to increase screening coverage amongst their populations. However, inconsistency in activity is leading to a potential postcode lottery where lack of awareness could be putting lives at risk
- Despite the need to improve screening accessibility, provision through sexual health services has dramatically fallen in some areas resulting in reduced access to potentially life-saving cervical screening.
Hammersmith & Fulham GP Federation together with the Royal Marsden Vanguard are launching a campaign to raise more awareness of this issue and to take practical steps to increase uptake. Could we ask that you share this information within your organisations and encourage women to go to their local GP and ask for a smear test. It
The link below is for the Jo’s Trust Website that provides useful information for professional and public audience
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