New Pop Up Clinics For Cervical Screening Piloted in Alloa

New ‘Pop up’ clinics for cervical screening are being piloted in Clackmannanshire and, if successful, could be extended across Forth Valley.

The clinics will be held at two GP practices (Dr Stirling & Partners and Dr Borland & Partners) based at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre in Sauchie, and women who have missed their smear appointment in the past are being invited to come along.

Eye-catching pink tartan invitations are being posted out in bright pink envelopes during the week of the 10th August 2016, asking women to book an appointment through their GP practice. The clinics will be held on Thursday 18th August 2016 from 5.45pm to 7.30pm in a quiet and relaxed environment with music and tea and coffee. Women can also bring a friend along to support them.

Dr Jane Bray, NHS Forth Valley Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine said:  “The smear test saves around 5,000 lives every year in the UK and prevents eight out of 10 cervical cancers from developing. It can stop cervical cancer before it starts and could help save your life.”

Kelly McGuire, a Practice Nurse at Dr Stirling & Partners Practice, said: “We want to encourage local women who have missed their last smear test to come along to these special clinics. Similar initiatives have been organised in other parts of Scotland and they have been successful so we want to try this approach in Clackmannanshire.

“Some women may have simply forgotten their appointment or perhaps decided not to attend because they were a bit nervous or embarrassed about having a smear test. If this is the case then they have nothing to worry about as we will do everything possible to make them feel at ease.”

Women who have had a smear test carried out in the last three years will continue to receive a routine invitation letter and should make the normal arrangements to attend for a cervical screening test at a time which suits them. Only women who have missed an appointment in the past will be invited to the ‘pop-up’ clinics.

Currently only around 72% of women in NHS Forth Valley invited for a cervical screening test attend an appointment.

Issued by NHS Forth Valley’s Communications Department – 01786 457243.

Notes to Editors

The national cervical screening programme was introduced in Scotland in 1988 with the aim of reducing the incidence of invasive cancer of the cervix. Cervical screening is offered routinely to eligible women aged 25-64 every three years. Women with an abnormal screening history will continue to be invited for follow-up as appropriate. Cervical screening is used to identify cell changes which could develop to be cancerous, in women who otherwise have no symptoms; at this stage, any changes can be easily treated, and treatment is usually very effective.

In 2014/15, 72.6% of eligible women in NHS Forth Valley attended for cervical screening in the previous 3.5 years compared with 72.7% in 2013/14 and 76.2% in 2009/10. This was slightly above the national average for 2014/15 (70.4%) although all NHS Boards had a lower uptake rate compared to 5 years ago.

Further information on cervical screening can be found at:

http://www.nhsinform.co.uk/screening/cervical/

Further information on the most recent uptake levels in Scotland can be found at:

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/2015-09-01/2015-09-01-Cervical-Screening-Report.pdf