During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (21-27 January), women in Birmingham and Solihull are being encouraged “tell a woman you love not to put off booking a smear test as it could save their life”.
Practice Nurse Gayle Gerry, based at Solihull Healthcare Partnership’s Grove Surgery, offers reassurance to women who might put off booking their appointment in a video, which will feature on NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s social media channels this week.
She explains: “When you receive your letter inviting you for a cervical smear please don’t delay booking your appointment; if you are nervous, there are things we can do to help. Having a smear test is nothing to be embarrassed about, we do these tests every day and it could even save your life.”
The number of women taking up the offer of a smear test across the West Midlands in 2017-18 was 70.2%, which is below the national average of 71.7%.
Dr Sonia Ashraf, a Birmingham GP, said: “All women aged between 25 and 64 registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening, which is a simple, five-minute test. By testing for abnormal cells on the cervix, we can reduce the number of women who go on to develop cervical cancer.
“It is vital that women in Birmingham and Solihull take control of their health and reduce their risk of cervical cancer by making sure they book and attend their cervical screening appointment, as well as younger women taking up the offer of the HPV vaccination.”