Cervical Cancer: Screening

Department of Health written question – answered on 3rd February 2017.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Chair, Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to make cervical screening available in additional (a) GP surgeries and (b) local healthcare settings.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites all eligible women aged from 25 to 64 years to make an appointment to be screened at their local general practice surgery. General practices are encouraged to provide convenient screening appointments for all women registered with their practice when they are due to be screened. Cervical screening may also be available at some contraception and sexual health services. These services are commissioned by local authorities (LAs), although they are not mandated to provide cervical screening. Many LAs have put in place local commissioning agreements to ensure cervical screening provision is maintained in these services.

Cervical screening is commissioned by NHS England and is based upon a national service specification developed by Public Health England (PHE). Access to cervical screening is a very important element of the programme, and NHS England and PHE are considering what further steps can be taken to continually improve access.

There is also the human papillomavirus (HPV) adolescent vaccination programme for girls which is well established in the United Kingdom and expected to have a significant impact on reducing cervical cancer. Since the start of the programme in 2008, more than 8.5 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given in the UK, with close to 90% of eligible teenagers vaccinated.

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