Cervical screening cash boost29th October 2008
The NHS is launching a scheme to halt a fall in the number of young women being screened for cervical cancer in England.
New figures show that over the last decade there has been a sharp decline in women coming forward for screening – particularly in those under 35 - with apathy being blamed as the main reason.
Now, the NHS is to spend £250,000 looking at how the uptake rates can be improved.
NHS Information Centre statistics reveal a 12.6% drop in women aged 25-29 being screened, to 66.2%, while the number of women aged 30-34 who had been screened in the past five years has also fallen from 83.5% to 76.8% since 1998.
At the same time, death rates from cervical cancer are rising and are at their highest since 2001, despite more women being invited for screening.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are aware that coverage rates are declining across the country, particularly in young women.
"To tackle this, NHS Cancer Screening Programmes have commissioned the Improvement Foundation to undertake a project to look into ways in which cervical screening uptake can be improved in women aged under 35."
The NHSCSP and Improvement Foundation plan to work with 10 primary care trusts to find out reasons for the fall in screening and share results across all organisations taking part in the screening programme by the end of 2009.
The NHS says if overall coverage of 80% is achieved, a 95% reduction in death rates is possible in the long term.
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Title: Cervical screening cash boost
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8937
Date Added: 29th Oct 2008