‘Don’t fear your smear’ is the message from Northampton General Hospital to employees during cervical screening awareness week, as preparations are made a series of drop-in cervical screening clinics for staff.
The move comes after Public Health England revealed only 62 per cent of women between the ages of 25 and 29 took up their invitation for a test last year.
Nursing staff from Northampton General’s gynaecology department developed the idea to provide on-site cervical screening to increase the take-up rates of women having their smear test.
Lyndsay Campbell, a healthcare assistant at Northampton General Hospital, said “We’re offering these sessions as part of cervical screening awareness week and to support the health and wellbeing of our colleagues.
"Anyone who is due or overdue a screening will have access to this service, without it affecting their work time.
“We found that employees often do not have the time to get to a GP appointment for screening. Through offering these onsite drop-in clinics, staff will be able to have easy access to a quick, efficient and friendly service.”
The service is available to any NGH employee who is due or overdue her smear test.
Currently, cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer faced by women under 35, with two women in the UK per day dying from the disease.
Having regular screening appointments can prevent up to 75 per cent of instances of cervical cancer, which can potentially save up to 5,000 lives each year.
Women aged 25 to 49 registered with a GP are currently invited every three years and every five years if aged 50 to 64. The test detects abnormalities within the cervix that could, if undetected and untreated, develop into cervical cancer.
Cervical Screening Awareness Week runs annually on 11-17 June, and was set up by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
All eligible women currently employed at NGH between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited to one of the clinics, which will be held between Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 June.