On time cervical screening improves coverage

On time screening improves coverage
On time screening improves coverage
While screening coverage reaches 80% in women aged 25 to 29 years by five years, the current cytology-based cervical screening programme is based on a three yearly screening interval, with the target being 80% of women aged 25-29 years having a cervical smear within the last three years.

Being screened outside of a three-yearly screening interval carries clinical risk and has the effect of reducing coverage.

A simple way practices can improve coverage is by increasing screening on time.

After receiving a recall letter, most women take a month or more to make an appointment for a smear. Therefore, women should be recalled up to 3 months ahead. Even more time is needed for priority group women, or women who have been slow to attend in the past.

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Page last updated: 12 April 2018