The introduction of free cervical cancer screenings in Guernsey and Alderney has pushed the Bailiwick above its target of 80% coverage, the Director of Public Health has said.
From the start of this year, free cervical screening has been available to all women aged between 25 and 65 in Guernsey and Alderney, the costs being covered by Health & Social Care.
The aim of the service was to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer.
In the months they have been available, the free screenings have "yielded very encouraging results".
"Prior to in introduction of free cervical screening our uptake was 70%, which is below the target of 80% coverage," Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said.
"Since the introduction of free screening we are on course to comfortably exceed the target of 80%. Alongside making the cervical screening programme free, we have also tried to make the service as accessible as possible for women. This free service has been developed as a collaboration between Public Health Services, Primary Care, Choices and the Orchard Centre, enabling women to access a service of their choice.”
Dr Abigail Griffiths, a member of the local Cervical Screening Advisory Group and GP at Island Health explained that they had seen a big uptake in people having smear tests: "It is fantastic that the availability of free screening has increased the access for women to this very important screening programme.”
Heidi Soulsby, President of Health & Social Care, added: “The Committee is very pleased with the early results we are seeing in this new service. The Partnership of Purpose focuses on prevention and early intervention and our investment in this service is delivering the excellent outcomes that HSC wants for islanders."
Further information on cervical screening is available from Emily Davies Public Health Practitioner on 707311 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured top: file image of a smear test.
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