Innovative tool provides new insight into cervical screening coverage

Interactive dashboard will enable GPs and health organisations to improve cervical screening rates.

The interactive dashboard will hopefully help to identify areas for screening level improvement and encourage work to boost coverage. It will help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), GP practices and local authorities to improve coverage rates for the potentially lifesaving test, and will provide more detached and timely information about cervical screening.

NHS Digital, Public Health England and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have worked together on the initiative, aiming to provide easier access to the newest data about cervical screening. Cervical screening coverage in England are decreasing for the second consecutive year, NHS Digital say.

Pritpal Rayat, Analytical Section Head and Responsible Statistician for Screening and Immunisations at NHS Digital, said: “”The new dashboard will make more timely information available about this important area in greater detail than ever before. Users will be able to access the data in a range of visually dynamic ways, such as interactive maps and charts, as well as data tables. We hope this useful online resource will help support and empower GP practices, local authorities and CCGs to improve cervical screening attendance and coverage, thus ensuring more of those at risk of cervical cancer are diagnosed as early as possible. The development of this dashboard is a great example of good practice in collaborative working on a high-profile, sensitive area between organisations with a shared interest - NHS Digital, Public Health England and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.”

Ruth Stubbs, National Cervical Screening Programme Manager at Public Health England, said: “The NHS Cervical Screening Programme is keen to ensure that all women who want to be screened, can be. That is why having access to the coverage information on the dashboard and our new resource will provide invaluable, timely data for GPs, CCGs and local authorities to continue to support those regions where participation levels could be improved.”

Robert Music, chief executive of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, added: “Cervical screening provides the best protection against cervical cancer however attendance of this potentially life-saving test is falling. GP practices and commissioners have a vital role to play in encouraging attendance and the new dashboard provides them with a valuable resource to benchmark their own performance, look to higher performing areas for inspiration and fully evaluate the success of activities they have undertaken. We are proud to have worked with NHS Digital and Public Health England on the creation of the dashboard and hope it provides both the insight and the motivation needed for practices to consider how they can increase attendance in their area.”

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