Smear Tests / Cervical Screening
Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is a procedure which tests for high risk human papillomavirus (HPV).
We invite all eligible women and people with a cervix, between the ages of 25 and 64 to have a test. The first screening invitation is usually sent in advance of your birthday to ensure you are screened by the age of 25. Follow up invitations are sent in accordance with the national screening programme. It is really important that you keep us updated with any address or telephone changes so invitations and subsequent results are sent to the right place.
Please note that patients can only book into an appointment if they have received an invitation.
We recogonise and respect that taking part in screening is your personal choice. Please tell us if you have decided to opt out of the cervical screening programme so that we can code your records accordingly. You can choose to reverse this at any time if you change your mind.
Although the test is quick, relatively simple and key to detecting cancer early, we appreciate that many patients don't find it easy. We have introduced the following steps which we hope will help:
Before Your Appointment
Many patients' prefer the convenience of booking appointments online, however we recommend calling to make your appointment if:
You have any questions about your cervical screening appointment
You would benefit from an interpreter. We can book translation services for you
You would like a chaperone. You are welcome to bring someone with you into the appointment or you can request one of our trained chaperones
You feel that you need a longer appointment. Speak with one of our receptionists, you don't have to provide too much information, and they will do their best to accommodate you
During The Appointment
We understand you may feel anxious when you arrive for your smear test, our trained Nurses will do their best to put you at ease. You will be given privacy to change and we will give you something to cover yourself with - you can of course bring something from home to cover you. The appointment is confidential and the nurse will lock the door whilst she takes the sample, however you can ask for the door to remain unlocked if this is what you prefer. The following suggestions may help when you attend your appointment:
You may feel more comfortable wearing a skirt or long top
Feel free to discuss any concerns or ask any questions. Our Nurses are highly trained, experienced sample takers, no question is too big or small, and they will do their best to give you all the information you need
Please ask if you would like to look at the equipment that is used to take the sample
Feel free to listen to music or a podcast whilst the sample is taken
Please tell the Nurse if you have a preferred position to be in when she takes the sample
Do tell the Nurse if you are uncomfortable or in pain at anytime
Please do not feel you need to rush when getting off the couch. You are welcome to lie down until you feel ok to get up. Let the Nurse know if you feel a little shaky or would like a glass of water
Your Nurse will give you an approximate time as to when you can expect to receive your results. Occasionally, there can be a delay due to an increase in the number of tests that need to be processed. The test results will be sent by letter to your home address.