The NHS, Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland, and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, together with local partners across North Lincolnshire have launched a public awareness campaign – Let’s Talk Cervical Screening – to educate women and people with a cervix in North Lincolnshire about HPV and cervical screening (also known as a ‘smear test’), as well as help alleviate any concerns when it comes to booking and attending an appointment.
“A high number of eligible women and people with a cervix across Yorkshire and the Humber have not had their latest cervical screening, and there is an urgent need to boost rates and help save lives,” said Jill Wass, Public Health Programme Manager, NHS England Yorkshire and The Humber.
“Through our campaign, we want to support individuals across the region who are missing their cervical screening, and we’re calling on all women and people with a cervix to consider getting screened.”
In Humber and North Yorkshire, latest NHS data shows that over 120,000 women and people with a cervix between the ages of 24-64 years, are not up to date with their cervical screening. These figures are in line with the latest national figures from the Department of Health and Social Care which show nearly 30% of women and people with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 years are not up to date with their cervical screening.
Some of the most common barriers to cervical screening attendance include embarrassment and anxiety, with lack of understanding, concerns about pain, busy schedules, fear of results, and misconceptions about relevance additionally cited.
“There is a broad and complex range of reasons why women and people with a cervix do not attend their cervical screening,” said a spokesperson for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. “We want to break down some of those worries and nervous feelings by sharing first-hand experiences and honest insights from those who have been there before, and creating opportunities for open dialogue with a nurse professional.”
“We’re proud to be working alongside NHS England Yorkshire and The Humber and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to roll-out this important campaign in the North East,” said Dr. Ashton Harper, Head of Medical Affairs, Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland. “Cervical screening can help prevent cancer before it starts, so I encourage anyone with concerns or unanswered questions to pick up a leaflet, make use of the available online resources, and take the potentially life-saving step of booking or attending your appointment.”