Cervical screening in the spotlight: one year on (2018)
In September and October 2017, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust sent Freedom of Information
requests to all upper-tier and unitary local authorities and CCGs in England to ask what
activities they had undertaken to increase cervical screening coverage from August 2016
to August 2017, along with outcomes of those activities.
- 32% scored 0: these have not undertaken any activities to increase cervical screening coverage (44% in the Spotlight 2017 report)
- 26% scored 1: these have undertaken very limited work to increase coverage (11% in the Spotlight 2017 report)
- 22% scored 2: these have done some work to increase coverage (16% in the Spotlight 2017 report)
- 20% scored 3: these have undertaken comprehensive, multi-faceted and sustained work to improve cervical screening coverage (29% in the Spotlight 2017)
- 34% scored 0: these have not undertaken any activities to increase cervical screening coverage
- 12% scored 1: these have undertaken very limited work
- 27% scored 2: these have undertaken some direct work
- 27% scored 3: these have undertaken comprehensive and targeted work to improve cervical screening coverage
Cervical screening in the spotlight (2017)
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 attendance 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.
In 2015-16, only 72.7% of eligible women in England attended cervical screening when invited. This figure masks dramatic differences in coverage across the country from just 55.5% of eligible women in Kensington and Chelsea to 81.4% of eligible women in South Gloucestershire.
This report summarises new research into the activities undertaken by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England to increase cervical screening attendance.
- 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.
The full report features case studies of CCGs and local authorities utilising the resources available to them and working in innovative ways to increase attendance.
If you have any questions regarding the report, please contact us on [email protected]