Health Education

Department of Health written question – answered on 3rd July 2015.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the publication, Public Health England Marketing Strategy 2014 to 2017, what discussions he has had with Public Health England on whether its plan to develop marketing campaigns to drive earlier diagnosis based on the Be Clear on Cancer campaign model will include a focus on raising awareness of cervical screening across the UK.

Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the publication, Public Health England Marketing Strategy 2014 to 2017, what discussions he has had with Public Health England on its trial for improving screening uptake; and whether improving cervical screening uptake will form part of that trial.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Public Health England’s (PHE) priority is to continue to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer in England through the Be Clear on Cancer campaigns and to encourage people with those symptoms to see their general practitioner promptly. PHE is looking to understand and address inequalities in screening participation. A national workshop will be set up in the autumn to explore and share current knowledge and devise an action plan. The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) has also commissioned an evidence review on inequalities.

The Advisory Committee on Cervical Cancer will be reviewing the results from the Strategies to increase cervical screening uptake at first invitation (STRATEGIC) trial, an on-going trial to identify and implement key innovations to help engage uptake in young women who are entering the NHS Cervical Screening Programme at the age of 25. Further work will investigate the offer of self-sampling to non-attendees of all ages in the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

In April 2012 the UK NSC gave its support for a pilot to assess the value of using human papilloma virus (HPV) testing as primary screening for cervical disease, rather than the currently used cytology test. The pilot is establishing the feasibility of using HPV as the primary screen for cervical disease in order to achieve better outcomes for women, while minimising over-treatment and anxiety, and whether it is practical to roll out nationally. The UK NSC will open a public consultation shortly on whether HPV as primary screening for cervical disease should replace the currently used cytology test.

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