GPs urged to use cervical cancer screening dashboard

GPs and health organisations are being urged to help to improve rates of potentially lifesaving cervical cancer screening by making the most of an innovative online data tool. The interactive data dashboard provides in-depth information on screening levels and shows where they could be improved. It was launched a year ago by NHS Digital, Public Health England (PHE) and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), GP practices and local authorities can look up their data to see where to focus work on improving coverage rates of the vital test.

During Cervical Screening Awareness Week, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has welcomed efforts by CCGs who have used the information – and urged more providers and commissioners to do the same.

The dashboard includes data by local authority, CCG and GP practice, and is updated on a quarterly basis. It is already being used by CCGs across the country

Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “being able to access up-to-date data is vital to understanding where to focus efforts, measure impact of activity and flag where support might be needed so I would encourage everyone involved in increasing attendance to make use of the data dashboard.”

The CCG also worked in collaboration with the Merton Cancer Task Group to further raise awareness. Dr Shweta Singh, Merton Macmillan GP and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group lead on cancer said: “We are aware that screening levels could be better and are soon launching extra screening clinics to reach more women. It is so important that women take these tests as the earlier we can detect any changes.”

Pritpal Rayat, Information Analysis Lead at NHS Digital and Responsible Statistician for Screening and Immunisations, said: “This dashboard offers up-to-date and detailed information that users can readily access. “It is great to see that a year after it has launched, the data is being used to see where coverage levels could be improved and to target efforts in those areas.”