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Comment on cervical screening attendance in Wales

Thu, 31/10/2019 - 13:44

Today the annual cervical screening statistics in Wales show that uptake is now at 73.2%.

Key stats from the report include:

  • Variation in coverage between health boards, ranging from 73.1% in Hywel Dda University Health Board to 78.0% in Powys Teaching Health Board.
  • Screening uptake was lowest amongst 25-29 year olds at 67.2% and at a high of 78.5% amongst 50-54 year olds. 

Commenting on the statistics Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said:

“It’s frustrating to see overall screening attendance has fallen in Wales, yet it is positive that among younger women there has been an increase. Currently over one in four women in Wales are still not getting screened. Wales has led the way in being the first UK country to switch to HPV primary screening but this more accurate method of testing only benefits those who are attending. We know there are many reasons that can make attending screening difficult and there are lots of barriers that need to be addressed. We urgently need to improve how screening is delivered, this includes offering self-testing so that women can take a test in the privacy of their own home. There remain huge differences in provision of screening at sexual health clinics between Health Boards, this is despite the fact we know many women prefer to access screening in these venues. Cervical screening means that cervical cancer is a disease that can be largely prevented, and one day eliminated, therefore increasing attendance across all ages must be a priority.”