Jenny Gilruth MSP supports Cervical Screening Awareness Week

Published date : 15 Jun 2018

  Jenny Gilruth MSP supports Cervical Screening Awareness Week and urges more women to attend the potentially life-saving test


Jenny Gilruth MSP is supporting Cervical Screening Awareness Week (11-17 June) to highlight the potential life-saving benefits of cervical screening (smear tests).  Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing and saves an estimated 5,000 lives across the UK every year. However one in four women do not attend when invited.


During Cervical Screening Awareness Week, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s only charity for women affected by cervical cancer and abnormalities, is warning that more needs to be done to make it easier for women to access a screening appointment. The charity is calling for a greater range of appointment times at GP practices, increased access through sexual health services and innovation including the introduction of self-sampling.


Cervical screening is largely delivered in GP practices with five million women invited every year in the UK. However, new research by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has found a worrying one in eight women find it difficult or even impossible to book an appointment. 7.4% of women were told no appointments at their GP practice were available the last time they tried to book.


The Mid Fife & Glenrothes MSP said: “I am delighted to be supporting Cervical Screening Awareness Week, and the work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. It’s extremely concerning that more than one in four women do not attend cervical screening. Part of the reason for this is that many women find it hard to get an appointment time that suits them and I support Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s calls for action to tackle this.”


Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Jenny Gilruth MSP. Despite cervical screening protecting against 75% of all cervical cancers, one in four women don’t attend. Our research shows that access to cervical screening across the UK is unequal and inconsistent and this needs to change. We have a free Helpline women can call if they have any questions about cervical screening, no question is too big or small. We would like all women to feel they can make an informed decision in attending this potentially life-saving test.”


For further comment, interviews or case studies please contact or call 020 3096 8100 / 07772 290064

Notes to editors

Cervical Screening Awareness Week runs from 11-17 June ( and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has launched a new report ‘Computer says no’ ( highlighting unequal access to cervical screening in the UK.


About Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust ( is the UK’s only dedicated charity offering support and information to women of all ages and their loved ones affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The National Helpline is on 0808 802 8000.


About cervical cancer

  • The majority (99.7%) of cervical cancers are caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which causes changes to the cervical cells
  • 220,000 UK women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year
  • Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 890 women lose their lives every year
  • Around 5 million UK women are invited to cervical screening each year yet one in four do not attend
  • Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years


Local Reporters, East Fife Mail, Glenrothes Gazette, Courier (Fife), HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE
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