In 2018/19, 76 per cent of women aged 26-64 in Rotherham attended a cervical cancer screening with a target period.
This was down to just 75 per cent in 202/21, and 74 percent amongst the 25-49 age group.
Latest figures from March 2021 show that nearly a third of eligible individuals aged between 25 and 64 in England were not screened.
Around 2,700 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and approximately 690 women die from the disease – around two deaths every day.
The Department of Health and Social Care estimates that screening prevents 70 per cent of cervical cancer deaths, but 83 per cent of deaths could be prevented if everyone attended regularly.
Embarrassment was the most common reason for never having attended or missing an appointment, as stated by 42 per cent of respondents to a DHSC survey.
This was followed by those who ‘kept putting it off’ (34 per cent) and ‘being worried it would be painful’ (28 per cent).
Fifteen per cent of lesbian or bisexual women over 25 had never had a smear test, compared to seven per cent of women over 25 in general.
In England, NHS cervical screening is offered between the ages of 24.5 and 49 every three years.
For those between the ages of 50 and 64, screening is offered every five years.
A report to Rotherham Council’s health select commission states that all practices in the borough have “continued to offer cervical screening”, and that all cancer screening programmed were restored by April 2022.
“Whilst invitations for cervical screening were initially paused nationally, invites and screening activity began again on 6th June 2021, returning to normal (pre-pandemic) from October 2020.
“Colposcopy services continued to invite and see women based on risk stratification – seeing high risk women.”
“The collaborative partnership with the SYB ICS Cancer Alliance continues with the implementation of the innovative behavioural science approach using nudges and bespoke targeted messages within invites by letter, SMS text message reminders and telephone scripts to reach underrepresented groups and influence their behaviour to partake in cervical screening programme.”