NHS sets target to eliminate cervical cancer

The NHS has pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.

he World Health Organisation considers cervical cancer to be eliminated as a public health problem when there is an incidence rate lower than four per 100,000 women.

In a speech at the NHS Providers' conference, NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard, explained how this can be achieved, by making it as easy as possible for people to get the HPV vaccine and increase cervical screening uptake.

The HPV vaccine causes up to 99 per cent of cervical cancers and health and care professionals will be supported to identify those who most need the vaccine, through targeted outreach and offering jabs in more convenient settings.

More people than ever before are being invited for cervical screening as well. Last year, over five million people aged 25-64 were invited last year and 3.5 million were tested.

Pritchard said: "By continuing to make it easier to access and catch up on vaccines and continuing to make progress on screening, we can eradicate the threat of HPV by 2040, sparing thousands more women the pain and worry of cancer."

Steve Russell, chief delivery officer and national director for vaccinations and screening for NHS England, said: “Vaccination and screening are some of the most powerful tools we have for preventing disease and for keeping people from becoming unwell.

“We have learnt invaluable lessons from the pandemic, with our hugely successful Covid-19 vaccine programme saving thousands of lives, and our vision for the future of vaccination draws on those learnings, with plans to educate millions more people on the importance of vaccination, while making it easier than ever before to access vaccines online.”

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