Cervical Cancer: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to make it easier for women with a physical disability to access cervical screening services.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England is continuously investing in initiatives to help ensure equality of access to screening and, through the public health functions agreement (S7a), NHS England aims to improve public health outcomes and reduce inequalities.

General practitioner practices are required to ensure that their premises are suitable for the delivery of essential and where appropriate additional services, and that they are sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of its patients, including those with disabilities. This involves making any reasonable adjustments necessary or making alternative arrangements such as referral to a specialist screening provider or undertaking the procedures in another setting that is more suitable given any limitations to a patient’s mobility. Where a patient requires specialist equipment, clinical staff will ensure that patients have access to its use in a safe environment.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England asked Sir Mike Richards to lead a review of the current cancer screening programmes. The review will be finalised in autumn 2019 and will make recommendations to further improve the delivery of the screening programmes, including the cervical screening. The Department will take forward the findings of the review once published.

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