Do you always book your smear test as soon as you receive your reminder? It’s a topic of conversation here at Mojomums after recent findings show that around 360,000 more women are overdue their cervical cancer screening compared to three years ago.
Figures suggest the biggest increase in overdue smear tests is amongst working age women, with more than a million in their thirties now overdue their tests and 3.6 million within the screening age categories (25-64 years) overdue. Surveys suggest a major cause of delayed or missed tests is the difficulty many women face in making a convenient appointment with their local GP.
A quick survey around the Mojo team shows that the majority of us book our appointment as soon as we receive our reminder, sometimes our second reminder, however work and childcare arrangements do have to be juggled to do this.
My last test was nearly three years ago, something I remember as I had only recently given birth and although I was not back to work at this time, I struggled to find time to go. My husband actually had to book a morning off work so that I could make the appointment. Prior to having children and in my previous job I would always have to book my screening during a day off work.
Recent government announcements are for changes and extensions in GP surgery hours which may help this cause, but it may be a little too late for some women. There have been growing calls for local surgeries to open in the evenings and on weekends to fit around working and family life – would this make a difference to you booking your screening?
Here at Mojomums we are proud to announce that all employees are able to take time off work to go for their cervical screenings – something that we urge all other employers to follow. It’s only once every three years and can save lives (around 5,000 every year). So ask your employer today to show their support and to do the same. And please, Mojomums, if you cannot remember when you were last screened or your reminder letter is propped up on the kitchen table waiting for you to book, call your GP today.