Cervical Screening Toolkit

Approaches to support informed participation and reduce barriers to attendance

There are many ways to tailor your practice’s engagement to increase uptake for women. Understanding who is not attending for screening and why (see Section 2) is important when looking at ways to optimise attendance. Women may not be engaged in the programme, they might have never attended cervical screening or they may be overdue their appointment. Some women will also make an informed choice not to attend their cervical screening. It’s important that all women’s decisions are respected and no one should feel pressure to participate.

Best-practice approaches

Below is a range of suggested best-practice approaches that your practice could use to add value to existing work or may wish to try to optimise participation in your local area:

You can cut and paste the text from the pdfs to save you time when sending out the letters. It's vital to consider engagement approaches even after a woman has booked her appointment, in order to maintain high attendance to cervical screening. While cervical screening is a familiar procedure for experienced clinicians, for most women it's not a routine process (particularly if it's their first test, or first test after a period of non-attendance). Ensure best practice by making sure women are informed throughout. Women should understand the screening programme, know what to expect and have the opportunity to ask questions.

You can download the information in this section Use a range of approaches to overcome barriers and to engage non-attenders and you can also download the full Cervical Screening Toolkit.

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