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Cervical Screening

What is Cervical screening (Smear test) and Why do I need one?

Cervical Screening (Smear test) is a free health test available on the NHS as part of the national cervical screening programme. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes. It is not a test for cancer but is a test to help prevent cancer.

Who is invited for a cervical smear screening test?

You should be invited for cervical screening if you have a cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. Women are usually born with a cervix. Trans men, non-binary and intersex people may also have one.

In the UK, you are automatically invited for cervical screening if you are:

between the ages of 25 to 64
registered as female with a GP surgery.
You may get your first invite up to 6 months before you turn 25. You can book an appointment as soon as you get the invite.

When will you be invited for cervical screening

You can book an appointment as soon as you get a letter. If you missed your last cervical screening, you do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment. You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. It will explain what happens next.

I am worried about the Covid 19 Pandemic 

Please do not delay or avoid coming in for your smear test. During the pandemic, we are continuing to book patients in safely with the practice nurse for their smear test with pre appointment screening for Covid symptoms and/or contact with Covid.

I need a late or weekend appointment

Please let reception know and we can try and accommodate this. Click here to request this Ask the reception a question

Still Unsure/Can’t Decide/Worried? 

Watch this video from an NHS nurse if you are unsure to help you decide https://youtu.be/hXZI84z-SvA

To find out what happens during a smear Test see https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/cervical-screening/what-happens-during-cervical-screening

When cervical screening is not recommended

 

Annual statistics from the NHS Screening Programme reveal the age and location of women who do not attend screening when invited. However, these statistics are not broken down by ethnic origin. It is widely accepted that people from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background are harder to reach and so less likely to access health programmes. To understand the barriers to screening for BAME women the charity commissioned research with YouGov that looked into cervical screening uptake and knowledge about cervical cancer within BAME communities, and comparing this to responses from white British women.

Key findings include:

  • BAME women were more likely than white women to say they had never attended a screening (12% vs 8%)
  • 70% of Asian women aged 20-65 knew that screening is a test to check cells from the cervix to find pre-cancerous abnormalities against 91% of white women aged 20-65
  • 53% of BAME women aged 55-65 think screening is a necessary health test against 67% of white women aged 55-65
  • Almost half (45%) of white women would be comfortable talking to a male GP about cervical screening but only 28% of BAME women agreed
  • Twice as many BAME women as white women said better knowledge about the test and why it is important would encourage them to attend (30% against 14%)

The survey revealed that there needs to be further education within the BAME community about what cervical screening is and why it is so important. In 2015 Jo’s Trust launched a new video resource called “Your Guide to Cervical Screening (smear test)” which is aimed at raising awareness of cervical screening to women from a BAME background.

Videos and resources in other languages for smear tests can be found here BAME Population and Smear Videos in other languages

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
‘WORKING WITH COURAGE FOR THE NHS’

Dear Patients

 Please be mindful that we are short staffed due to self isolation of some of our staff members.

We will continue to provide the best care and service under these difficult circumstances.

You can also book your appointments/view test results through Patient Online access.

Please sign up by following the link below

Watford Health Centre

We appreciate your patience during this time.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

VACCINATION UPDATE

FLU VACCINATIONS

Dear Patients we are awaiting further stock for flu vaccinations, in the meantime please contact us and we will book your appointment.

COVID VACCINATIONS – BOOSTERS

All patients eligible for a COVID Booster will be contacted by us in due time.

 

VACCINE FOR 16-17 YEAR OLD PATIENTS

We are offering Pfizer vaccine to all 16-17 year old patients who have not had their Covid-19 vaccination yet. Please contact us on 07402404258 to book your appointment.

FACE COVERINGS UPDATE FROM 19TH JULY 2021 FOR NHS PATIENTS

NHS Patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings

Covid restrictions will end in many settings in England from Monday 19th July 2021.

However, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

The NHS will continue to support staff in ensuring that the guidance is followed in all healthcare settings.

We need to continue to do what we can to keep people safe from catching Covid-19. One way we can all help with this is by continuing to wear a face-covering in our practice and we are asking all patients to do that, as well as our staff. Keeping our staff safe is essential to keep operating efficiently.

We are also continuing to make sure we don’t have large numbers of patients in our waiting areas and on the premises – again this is about reducing the chance of infection when there are rising rates in the community.

The various measures we have taken, including increased use of personal protective equipment, patients wearing face masks, holding more virtual consultations, social distancing and extra premises cleans have helped protect staff, patients and visitors over the past year. Taking these steps has also enabled us to continue providing many of the non-urgent services that would otherwise have been postponed.

We want to make sure you can all be confident about accessing or visiting local healthcare services safely.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation with this – it makes a huge difference.

Concerned about your information being shared? 

What you need to know.

Patient data from GP medical records kept by GP practices in England is used respectfully, securely and safely every day to improve health, care and services through planning and research, helping to find better treatments and improve patient care.  Data collected by the NHS is only used for health and care purposes. It is never shared with marketing or insurance companies.

The NHS is planning to introduce an improved way for GP practices to share information about patients- called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.  News of these plans has caused some concern to some of our patients, who have decided that they don’t want their data to be involved.

We have now been informed that no data will be shared in this new way until 1 September this year.  This delay is to enable the national organisation NHS digital to clearly explain their plans to the public and health professionals, as well as to thoroughly investigate any concerns that have been raised.

If you have already been in touch with the practice to ask to be ‘opted out’ of your identifiable information being shared outside of our practice for any purpose, your request will be honoured.  This will not affect your own care. However, nobody’s data will be shared in this new way before 1 September.  If you would like to find out more about why the NHS collects and uses data, please go to this website.

We are here for you when you need us – how to access services

If you need the help of a GP, practice nurse or other health professional that works in our surgery, we are here for you.

GP practices are busier than they have ever been and we want you to know how to get the help you need from us.

As you will know, we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering you telephone and online appointments, with face to face consultations available for those who need them. We have continued to help many thousands of patients each week, alongside planning and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

There are some things that patients can do to help make sure we can see everyone who needs us, as quickly as possible. Please continue to contact us by phone or online as this helps us to manage people entering our practice building; it is much better if you don’t come to the practice unless you have an appointment. We need to keep social distancing in our practice building to keep everyone safe, we also ask that you always wear a mask while in the surgery. Please remember that appointments are a set amount of time so it is only safe to discuss one or two health issues. If you have more to discuss please mention this when you speak to reception staff.

Our busiest times of the day on the phones are between 8am and 10am so if you can, we would suggest that you call outside of this time.

During the pandemic the use of our online system “ Online Consult” increased. It is a great way to get clinical advice for your condition, however, it is worth remembering that each consultation takes a significant of time to review and there are lots of other ways to get advice. Also you will not get an instant response to these so if it is urgent please call the practice or contact 111.

On our website we have links to key NHS information and advice. Please also go to www.nhs.uk which is a as a source of trusted health advice about your or your child’s condition. Your local pharmacist is also there for you as an expert in medicines. They can offer advice for certain ailments. They will also know when you need to contact a GP or another more urgent service. Many pharmacies are open in the evening and at weekends, you can find them on the CCG website: https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/pharmacies

Remember if the situation is urgent you can contact NHS 111 by visiting www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111. They can also support with a mental health crisis if you select option 2.

You don’t need to see a GP to refer yourself for some mental health services. Find out more at https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/wellbeing-service/ If you are worried about your mental health and any harm you may cause yourself please contact your practice.

Remember to always dial 999 straight away when it is a real emergency, for example if you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.

Please continue to use general practice when you need to, we are open and there for you.

Thank you for your support.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Did you know overprescribing of some Antibiotics can lead to Clostridium Difficile Infection: Please click here for more information Clostridium difficile – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

____________________

DEDICATED COVID VACCINATION CLINICS

WE HAVE GIVEN

OVER 18000

FIRST & SECOND DOSE COVID VACCINATIONS

I am over 65 or between 16 and 65 with a medical condition that puts me at risk of Covid 19 and have not yet had my Covid19 Vaccine. How can I get my vaccine? 

Please contact us on 07402404258 so we can book your appointment.

Where can I park?

Parking  will be available on Rosslyn Road and if you have a disabled badge you can park temporarily on the double yellow line on Upton Road. Please ensure you wear a MASK.

What is the current advice on the risk of blood clots and the AstraZenica Vaccine?

For any queries regarding the vaccine do contact us on 7402404258. We will be happy to discuss any concerns.

More information can be found on our Covid & Flu Support page.

Please click here for Dementia UK -Useful Tips on the Covid-19 Vaccine for people with Dementia

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