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GP practice-level cervical cancer screening uptake published for scrutiny

GP practices will see their individual patient uptake for cervical cancer screening published in a bid to boost rates.

The move, instigated by Public Health England (PHE), comes as more than a quarter of eligible women failed to have their cervical smear in 2015/16, as uptake continued to decline.

The new interactive tool, provided by NHS Digital, allows anyone to compare the numbers of patients screened against those eligible for screening, and CCG averages, by individual practice.

NHS Digital said it hopes the data will ‘empower GPs’ to improve cervical screening attendance and coverage rates.

A spokesperson said: ‘This is part of a PHE-led project to empower GP practices and CCGs to improve cervical screening attendance and coverage rates.'

NHS Cervical Screening Programme lead Ruth Stubbs said PHE 'is keen to ensure that all women who want to be screened, can be', adding: 'That is why having access to the coverage information on the dashboard and our new resource will provide invaluable, timely data for GPs, CCGs and local authorities to continue to support those regions where participation levels could be improved.’

The percentage of eligible women in England (aged 25 to 64) who were screened for cervical cancer in 2015/16 was 72.7%.

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