The NHS Cervical Screening Programme
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme (also called HPV screening, cervical cytology or "smear test") checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. The main test is for the presence of human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are associated with cervical cancer.
It is not a test for cancer, it is a test to help prevent cancer.
All people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 years old, should have the test done. For those aged 25 to 50 years old the test is required every three years. Whilst for those aged 50 to 64 years old it is every 5 years.
More information can be found here:
Worried about having the cervical screening test done?
We know that people avoid having the test due to being anxious about what to expect and generally the appointment itself. Our nurses are very experienced and will do their best to put you at ease.
At our practice:
- All sample takers are female.
- We offer pre-consultation appointments with you prior to the appointment to discuss any queries you may have and explain the process in full.
On the day of the appointment you are welcome to bring someone with you, or to ask for a chaperone if you would like one.
See the cervical screening - NHS (www.nhs.uk) page for video's on how the test is done.
Will I be reminded / invited?
Patients who have been living in the UK and registered with a GP practice will be automatically invited for a test when it is due by the national cervical screening programme. The invitations will be sent to the address we have on record for you, so be sure to keep your details updated.
Sometimes, if you change your address just as invitations are sent out the invitation may go to your old address. If you think this may be you, please contact us directly.
Alongside the national cervical screening programme, we will also invite patients when they are due for testing.
Had cervical screening tests abroad?
We know that many patients may take part in cervical screening programmes abroad, however the NHS cervical screening programme does not accept these test results.
This is because the NHS cannot be sure of the quality of the screening tests and recommend that patients have the test again under the NHS.
If you do not wish to take part in the NHS cervical screening programme, please call us directly to inform us (although this is not recommended).
If you decide to not take part in the programme, you will not be invited by the surgery for screening however will continue to be invited by the national programme. You can change your mind at any time and call us on reception to book in for an appointment.
If you wish to make an appointment for cervical screening, please call our reception team on 01223 366 811 to book. We offer cervical screening appointments Monday-Fridays with a nurse.
If you are not available during the week to attend for your cervical screening test, you can always book an appointment with our extended access clinic that is available over the weekends. Please call us directly during the surgery working hours in order for us to book you directly in for an appointment with extended access clinic.