It’s Cervical screening awareness week 2022.
So we want to help raise awareness of the importance of getting a cervical screening to prevent cancer.
What is a cervical screening?
In the UK women, trans men and people assigned female at birth aged 25 and over are invited for a screening. Testing usually occurs every 3 to 4 years. Providing patients are registered with a GP, they will receive a letter to book an appointment. Screenings assess any changes in the cells of the cervix and furthermore, any potential cancer risks.
The impact on the workforce
Regular screening is the best protection against cervical cancer. There are around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases in the UK every year. That’s nearly 9 every day (2016-2018). And the peak age for diagnosis is 30-34 years old. Therefore, at a time when focusing on developing a career is key, health concerns could have an unforeseen impact.
However, if diagnosed at an early stage up to 90% of women aged under 40 will survive. This statistic increases for those attending regular HPV screenings, then, cervical cancer is almost 100% preventable.
Under those circumstance the test is vital. But, 1 in 5 have reported they are unable to get an appointment outside working hours.
Getting an appointment
It can be extremely difficult to get an appointment. In fact, paired with the NHS backlog due to the pandemic it’s now even harder. According to Jo’s cervical cancer trust, studies found that 38% of those invited were unable to get a convenient appointment last time they tried to book.
However, there is a way employers can help.
How can employers help?
Giving flexible time off, empowering staff to attend appointments is a great way to show you care. But, employers can also go beyond this embedding support within their wellbeing strategy.
When considering your employee benefits, offering solutions to give more control over screening times is far more practical. This can be done via private tests, or if your company has a Private Medical Insurance policy in place. Some cervical screens and HPV testing can be covered by workplace health care plans.
If you would like to find out more information about cancer screening you can talk to a Broadstone consultant. We can advise your company on the best solutions available.