Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has welcomed the most recent cervical screening statistics for Scotland, published on Tuesday 3 September.

This data shows that, across Scotland, screening uptake increased from 72.8% to 73.1% between 2017-18 and 2018-19. Local health board NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde also experienced a slight increase, with uptake increased from 69.3% to 69.7%.

Commenting on the news, Tom Arthur MSP said:

It is really positive to see that there has been an increase in cervical screening coverage both locally in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, as well as across the majority of health boards in Scotland.

“There is still a long way to go, but these new figures show that reversing the trend of falling attendance, which had unfortunately emerged in recent years, is not impossible, and it is vital that this continues.”

Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, added:

“We are pleased to see that awareness campaigns including those run by Scottish Government and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust look to have had a positive impact and it’s important to see Scotland continue to invest in them, as today’s results show the benefits they can bring both a national and local level.

“Despite results overall being positive we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. The youngest age group of 25-29, those who are being invited for their very first cervical screening, has sadly shown a further fall, with less than two thirds attending. Of even more concern is that those young women (25-29) who have not had the HPV vaccine have a much lower uptake of cervical screening, with only 30.7% of 25-year-olds who have not had the vaccine attending screening. This leaves this group at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer and we would like to see a targeted campaign to focus efforts on those who are most at risk.

“This is the last set of cervical screening data before Scotland changes to HPV primary testing. It’s great that after 10 years of falls in coverage we have seen an overall increase and it is crucial that the messaging communicating the change is very clear and dispels myths and misconceptions about HPV, so that we can continue to see cervical screening uptake on the rise.”

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