This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

CCGs fail to increase cervical screening rates

Written by: | Published:

Few young women attend screening Few young women attend screening

Almost half of local authorities and 60% of CCGs have not undertaken any work to increase attendance for cervical screenings, according to a new report from Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.

The charity contacted every CCG and local authority in England to examine the work being done to improve attendance, after data last year found that rates were at a 19-year low. Of the 150 local authorities (out of 152 in total) that responded to the Freedom of Information request, 44% reported not taking specific steps to encourage uptake in the past two years. Similarly, 60% of the 204 CCGs that responded had not tried to improve attendance rates.

‘Nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day in the UK and the number attending cervical screening is falling so it is extremely concerning to see so many local authority public health teams and CCGs not playing a part in increasing attendance,’ said Robert Music, chief executive of the charity.

Mr Music said they were particularly concerned about women aged 25 to 29 as cervical cancer is the most common cancer in under 35s. However, one in three women in this age group do not take up their invitation when invited.

According to the charity, 51% of 25 to 29 year olds have not attended or delayed cervical screening, while 24% delayed it for over a year and 9% have never been screened. Reasons for this included fear it might be painful, embarrassment, or simply not having the time.

‘The pressure and competing priorities faced by local authorities and CCGs should not be underestimated,’ added Mr Music. ‘However there are many areas across England where teams are utilising the resources available to them and working in innovative ways to increase attendance and we urge those who aren’t to follow their lead. Cervical screening offers the best protection against cervical cancer, saving lives and saving the NHS money.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


Screening is a personal choice, and HPV self-test kits are now widely available online. No HPV means no chance of this cancer. Women are doing their homework, weighing up the odds and making an informed decision to decline this test which they have a perfect right to do. These charities are clearly worried about their income. With 90% of young women now vaccinated, they are clearly worried about how they will continue.
Posted by: ,

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.