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Barnsley GP surgery offers out-of-hours cervical cancer screening

Barnsley GP surgery offers out-of-hours cervical cancer screening
24 May 2019

Barnsley GP Surgery offers out-of-hours cervical cancer screening

A GP practice in Lundwood has held an out-of-hours service for local women to fit their cervical screening appointments around their busy schedules.

The Lundwood Practice held the clinic between 5 and 8pm in order to book appointments for patients who were overdue the check. The practice contacted the women who were registered with the centre and offered them a convenient appointment.

Cervical screening is offered to women from the age of 25 but uptake of this potentially life-saving check-up is lowest in the 25-49 year age group. In Barnsley only 74% of women this age attend their appointments.

Tracey Turner, screening and immunisation co-ordinator, NHS England North, said: “Many women find it hard to attend because they are at an age where they have demanding jobs, children to care for or busy lifestyles, but this simple five-minute check could be a life-saver. It’s important that we find time in our lives to attend these appointments and we think what the Lundwood Practice have provided is a great way to make sure that local women have the chance to put their health first.” 

Cervical screening, or smear tests as they are more commonly known, is not a test for cancer. The test can pick up any abnormal cells in the cervix which may be a precursor to cancer. Andrea Parkin head of nursing for the Barnsley Healthcare Federation that manages the nursing team at Lundwood Practice, said: “Cervical screening is the best way for women to protect themselves from cervical cancer. It picks up any abnormalities before they are harmful which means they can be monitored and treated before they develop into cancer.

“We hope that by offering more convenient appointment times we will make it much easier for women to attend these essential screenings.”

The out-of-hours drop-in clinic saw 12 ladies attend screening who hadn’t been able to attend their previous appointments.  If you are a local business, you can do your part to help these women fit screening into their schedules by taking the ‘Time to Test’ pledge and supporting your employees to attend their appointments if they are during the working day.

If you think you have missed an appointment you can call your GP practice to check when you last had one and book in if you need to. If you’re getting ready to attend your first smear test you can find lots of information about what will happen at the appointment at fearorsmear.dbh.nhs.uk.

If you are unsure about anything, ask your nurse. You can always call ahead to talk to someone on the phone if you don’t want to wait until the day.

Barnsley Healthcare Federation is hoping to hold many more out-of-hours screening clinics in the future.