Scheme to boost screening numbers

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MORE women are being encouraged to have potentially life-saving tests that can detect cancer through a scheme launching today.

A shortfall of women being tested has prompted NHS Portsmouth to start a cervical screening out-of-hours project.

Health trusts need to ensure at least 80 per cent of women being invited for a free screening attend.

But in Portsmouth only 60 per cent of 25 to 29-year-olds went in the first quarter of 2011-12.

Overall 75 per cent of invited women aged 25 to 64 were screened in the same period.

Amy Pollard, public health development manager, said: ‘The national trend of fewer women coming forward for screening is reflected in Portsmouth. To combat this, a number of out-of-hours clinics, supported by a specialist female-run call centre, have been set up to encourage women who have not attended their screening appointment for some time to attend.’

The pilot scheme will run for six weeks.

To find out more call Amy on (023) 9268 4846.