Practices will be asked to review some patient records to ensure no one has been accidentally removed from the cervical screening call/recall programme, NHS England has said.
As part of the National Ceasing Audit, the Cervical Screening Administrative Service (CSAS) will be contacting GP surgeries over a three-week period, starting from this week (18 August).
The audit of the programme is intended to make sure that ‘no individuals have been inappropriately ceased from the programme’, NHSE said.
The CSAS will provide practices with a list of the registered patients who have been recorded on the national recall IT system since 1 April 2010 as having both:
- no cervix
- no record that a ceasing notification letter was sent to them when they were originally ceased.
Practices will be expected to review those patients’ records to confirm whether they have a cervix, which would make them eligible for the programme.
NHSE said it expects an average practice will need to review 10 records.
It added that it is working with the BMA’s GP Committee to arrange a one-off contribution payment recognising the workload impact it may cause.
‘We appreciate how extremely busy you are at this time, but if you receive a request from CSAS please ensure that you respond by the date requested,’ it said.
If a practice does not respond, the patients will be automatically reinstated into the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.
Earlier this month, NHS Digital confirmed that a new NHS Cervical Screening Management System will be introduced at the end of October 2021, replacing the current call/recall programme.
The new service will link to the NHS Personal Demographics Service, which will improve the accuracy of certain data, like current addresses, reducing delays in the call/recall programme, it said.
Meanwhile, a recent analysis found that the number of young people attending cervical screening tests at their GP practice increased by 19% in line with a national uptake campaign.
Despite this, a recent study found that only 7% of transgender men preferred to have a cervical screening at their GP practice, with many citing concerns around staff’s attitudes as a barrier.