A Fifth Miss Cervical Smear

28 July 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 28 July 2011, 06:48

Heart's been told around 20% of women in the Thames Valley don't attend cervical cancer screening appointments. Now health managers are working with doctors to find out why.

Around 80% of women in the Thames Valley are being screened for cervical cancer, now health workers are targeting those who don't attend. Those aged between 25 and 29 are the least likely to take up the offer of a smear test in Berkshire.

Christine Cook, who's Head of Immunisation and Screening for NHS Berskhire west told Heart it might be because women are anxious.

"If you're having the test for their first time there might be a certain amount of anxiety or fear and if women have any concerns about screening or questions about screening then we would encourage them to speak to their practice nurse or GP. It's understandable sometimes if you're anxious so we'd encourage people not to ignore the invitation but perhaps try and find out a bit more"

In Oxfordshire, over the last 3 and a half years, 73.8% of women aged 25-49 were screened and 78.6% of 50 - 64 year olds were tested.