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Cervical screening coverage rates have fallen

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Less women are taking up cervical screening Less women are taking up cervical screening

Cervical screening coverage has fallen, according to statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Screening coverage across all women between 25 to 64 was at 73.5%, down from 74.2% a year before and from 75.7% in 2011. These statistics cover the period between April 2014 and 31 March 2015.

Coverage was the lowest among women in the 25 to 49-year-old age group at 71.2%. This is down from 71.8% last year and 73.7% in 2011.

Responsible statistician Pritpal Rayat said: 'Today's report highlights a fall in cervical screening coverage for both younger and older women. This will be of concern to health professionals and organisations with a focus on cervical cancer and I hope this report will be useful to them in planning their future work in the important area.'

At a regional level, coverage of the full target age group at 31 March 2015 ranged from 68.4% in London to 76.3% in the East Midlands, compared to 70.3% and 76.6% respectively last year.

Cervical screening departments are expected to ensure that at least 98% of result letters are received by post within two weeks of the test. Today's report calculates that 91% of letters were received within this timeframe compared to 93.7% in 2013-14.

Today's report, Cervical Screening Programme, England, Statistics for 2014-15, is used to inform policy and to monitor the quality and effectiveness of screening services.

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