Joint position statement by FSRH, The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG), the British Society of Colposcopy & Cervical Pathology (BSCCP) and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust was submitted as evidence to be considered by Sir Mike Richard’s review of cancer screening programmes in England. The organisations welcome the timely review.
The joint position statement makes the following key points:
1) The RCOG, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, BSCCP and FSRH strongly recommend that there is an integrated holistic approach to commissioning and governance of cervical screening.
2) We are calling for more availability and flexibility of screening times and locations to make it as easy as possible for women to attend a screening. This includes increasing access to out-of-hours and weekend screenings and greater provision through sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services, GP practices and community services.
3) We would welcome the introduction of HPV self-testing kits as part of the cervical screening programme.
4) The move to HPV primary screening is welcomed. Yet this should not be at the expense of the NHS cytologist workforce and cytology service capacity. We need to recruit and retain staff to maintain this vital service.
5) We consider that there is an urgent need to address and modernise the IT systems that support screening, which are not fit for purpose or equipped for future needs.