Campaign launched to urge Sheffield employers to allow women time off for smear tests

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A new campaign has been launched urging employers to make sure they allow women time off for smear tests if they can’t get an appointment outside of work hours.

Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust has joined employers including Public Health England, GSK, Middlesbrough Council and NHS England to raise awareness of the need for female employees to ensure they make time to go for cervical cancer check-ups.

They are supporting the Time to Test campaign from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer.

Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Worryingly the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer each day has recently risen from eight women to nine and the number of women delaying or ignoring their cervical screening invitation is also rising year on year.

“We know from our research that for working women a barrier to screening is accessibility.

“Through Time to Test we hope to encourage businesses to promote cervical cancer prevention and ensure female staff have the time to get tested.”

He added: “We are delighted that {organisation) among so many companies have already joined the campaign and hope many more follow suit.

“Cervical screening is a five minute test, but it is one that could save a life.”

The charity now hopes more businesses will join the campaign at jostrust.org.uk/TimeToTest.

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease but one that claims three lives every day.

Screening can detect abnormal cells before they develop in to cancerous cells and prevents against 75 per cent of cervical cancers.

However, the charity said one in four women still do not attend this potentially life-saving test and over 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer.