Cervical smear test delays


The county’s health watchdog, Healthwatch Lincolnshire says it has heard claims from patients that they are experiencing delays in results from cervical smear tests, causingf anxiety and stress.

This is on top of concerns that rates for cervical screening nationally are reported to be at a 20 year low.

The watchdog has pressed NHS England whether the delays could harm Lincolnshire patients.

NHS England has accepted the waiting time for results in Lincolnshire is not acceptable and apologised for delays, urging women and their clinicians to be patient, saying: “The service is working through the samples as fast as it can, the current backlog has started to be reduced and will continue to do so.

“The aim of screening is to detect and treat pre-cancerous changes, it is not a test for cervical cancer. The length of time for abnormal cells to become cancerous is reflected in the relatively long screening intervals of three and five years depending on age.”

They urged women not to miss scheduled appointments offered for screening, as prevention is the better option.