Data from NHS Digital shows that just 72% of the 24,126 women in the area eligible for a cervical cancer smear test by the end of last year attended a screening and had a clear result.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and can be detected early by tests which are offered to women aged 25 to 49 every three years, with those aged 50 to 64 invited for a test every five years.
Samantha Dixon, chief executive of Jo’s Trust, said: “There is no one reason behind falling cervical screening attendance. These include NHS pressures, fear, embarrassment and not knowing what the test is for or thinking it is relevant.
“Cervical Screening Awareness Week was an ideal time to provide tips, reminders and signpost to support about the test, but work is needed all year round to tackle barriers and support more to attend this potentially life-saving test.”
source: Hartlepool Mail