Monday, February 26, 2024

Health leaders launch campaign to increase smear test take up in Thurrock

Smear Test

A CAMPAIGN to increase the numbers of women taking up their smear test has been released this week by Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group.

Figures from Public Health England’s Cancer Screening 2015/16 suggest that in Thurrock 27% of women are failing to attend their screening tests. One of the reasons could be embarrassment or lack of awareness that there are screening appointments after work and at weekends at Thurrock’s new Health Hubs.

NHS Direct confirm that around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK. It is possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer. A regular smear test can reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and the number of women who die from the disease.

Rahul Chaudhari, Head of Primary Care at Thurrock CCG said:
“We are making a plea this March for women to utilise our nurses at the Health Hubs and ensure they attend their smear test. As Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust campaigned earlier this year, many cases of cervical cancer can be prevented by regular smear testing. We hope that by raising awareness we’ll improve rates of screening.”

Robert Music from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said:
“It is great to see this new initiative from Thurrock CCG. Last year only 72.7% of women went for their smear test when invited and providing the opportunity to book smear tests on the weekend or in the evening will make it much easier for women, in particular those who work, to attend. Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing and I would encourage all women to attend, it is a five minute test but it is one that could save your life.”

Thurrock’s Health Hubs have benefited from NHS funding to open seven days a week until 31 March 2017. The Health Hubs are based in Grays, Corringham, Tilbury and Purfleet/South Ockendon and appointments can be booked by a person’s GP practice. Nurses, who carry out smear tests, can be booked up to a week in advance. After 31 March hubs will open on Wednesday evenings and weekends.

For more information about the Health Hubs, please visit: www.thurrockccg.nhs.net

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