Future changes to the age range and frequency for cervical screening
From 1 April 2016, the age range and frequency of cervical screening will change for routine screening to 3 yearly from age 25 and 5 yearly from age 50 to 64 (currently 3 yearly from 20-60 years). Women on non routine screening will be invited up to the age of 70 years, (a change from current arrangement of 68 years).
This change was announced by The Scottish Government on 11 December 2012 following the report of the Expert Review Group and in accordance with the recommendations of the National Screening Committee.
Please see professional question and answer guidance which clarifies the details of the service change and provides information to support the implementation of these changes. It will also assist practitioners in advising women who may be affected by the changes at their next cervical screening appointment and answering questions they may have about the changes.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls aged 11 to 13 years helps protect against cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is designed to protect against the two types of HPV that can cause over 70% cervical cancer cases. As it does not protect against all other types, regular cervical screening is important. This combination of immunisation and cervical screening offers the best possible protection against cervical cancer. The Immunisation Scotland website provides answers to questions about the HPV vaccine and includes a film with information on the HPV immunisation programme.