Liz calls for action to tackle increase in overdue smear tests

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Someone is diagnosed with cervical cancer every three hours in the UK, and the disease kills three women every single day. Screening tests for cervical cancer save around 5,000 lives every year, so it’s really worrying that the number of women who are overdue for their test has increased by 11 per cent in the last three years.

Across England, 3.7 million women are now overdue for their smear test – that’s 370,000 more than in 2010. Here in the East Midlands, there are nearly 40,000 more women overdue for their smear test: an increase of 17 per cent.

The biggest increase in overdue smear tests is amongst working age women, and surveys show 1 in 3 women who miss or delay their tests find it hard to book an appointment at their local GP surgery at a convenient time.

The Government promised easier access to GP surgeries, but hundreds of them have shut their doors earlier in the day after Ministers scrapped Labour’s extended opening hours scheme. I’m calling on the Government to make sure local surgeries are open at convenient times, so women don’t have to choose between work and taking care of their health

You can find my research on the number of women who are overdue their smear tests in every region here.

You can also read coverage of this story in the Mercury, Guardian, Mail, Evening Standard, Sun and Times