300,000 women in Yorkshire and Humber fail to attend cervical screening

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More than 300,000 women living in Yorkshire and the Humber failed to attend cervical screening appointments during 2015/16.

The latest data, published  (Wednesday, November 15) by NHS Digital, shows that 332,912 women aged 25-64 did not arrange a screening appointment when invited.

The new statistics show that while the region is performing above the national average, the percentage of women taking part in the programme is declining.

Overall screening rates in Yorkshire and the Humber fell from 75.9% in 2014/15 to 75.4% in 2015/16. There are significant difference in rates across the region, with just 71% of women in Bradford taking part compared to 79% in the East Riding.

Nationally, screening uptake fell from 73.5% in 2014/15 to 72.7% in 2015/16.

Cervical screening is designed to find early changes to cells in the cervix, a narrow passage that connects the vagina and uterus. If abnormal cells are found, they can be checked or removed before cancer is able to develop.

Women aged 25 to 49 are sent an invitation to take part every three years, while women aged 50 to 64 are invited to take part every five years.

The statistics show that younger women are less likely to take part in cervical screening. In Yorkshire and the Humber, screening uptake for women aged 25-49 was 73.4% in 2015/16. For women aged 50-64, the rate was 78%.


Dr Kathryn Scott, Director of Research and Innovation at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:

We are extremely concerned about the number of women in Yorkshire who are not taking part in screening. These new figures show that it is vital we invest more in raising awareness of the importance of screening and how it can prevent cancer.


Yorkshire Cancer Research is currently running a pilot community health programme designed to raise awareness of the three national screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer.

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One thought on “300,000 women in Yorkshire and Humber fail to attend cervical screening

  1. One reason for lack of screening uptake in older ladies is that the procedure can be excruciating, with very little understanding from the staff.

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