Croydon patients invited to their cervical screening now have more options about when to attend, including at evenings and weekends. They can also opt for a specialist appointment if they require more support.
Just over 70% of those in Croydon who were eligible were screened compared to the national target of 80%. ven fewer have come forward for screening during lockdown. It is hoped that, by offering more appointments after work and over the weekend, more residents will be able to take advantage of this lifesaving test.
The additional cervical screening appointments are available Monday-Friday from 6pm-8pm and every weekend 8am-8pm at five NHS sites across Croydon. Anyone registered with a Croydon GP can book an appointment at one of these sites. Patients are also welcome to continue to attend appointments at their usual GP practice as when they are invited.
Specialist appointments are also available for anyone who feels particularly anxious about having a cervical screening or who may need specialist advice, for instance if they have previously had an abnormal result. These are conducted by a specially trained nurse, you do not need to explain why you want a specialist appointment.
The project is led, and managed by Croydon GP Collaborative, which is supported by RM Partners, the West London Cancer Alliance hosted by The Royal Marsden. Jo’s Trust, the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity, has provided training to Croydon administrators and receptionists to support and encourage residents to attend their screening.
Gill Biju CEO of Croydon GP Collaborative said "she is delighted to be working with RM Partners in order to offer this service across Croydon. There has already been excellent feedback and uptake in appointments. By running this at evenings and weekends, patients are given the opportunity to be seen at a convenient time in order to protect themselves from the risk of cervical cancer."
Clinical Nurse Gill Burgess helps run the Specialist Clinics, as well as training and assessing other nurses on how to perform Cervical Screening. With much training of her own over many years, Gill is very keen to reach women who encounter difficulties with having a smear. "I have been supporting women for many years, sometimes, seeing women two or three times before they feel comfortable to have their smear taken, allowing extra time when necessary.
“‘Never fear to have a Smear’ – there is always a way forward.”
Feedback for the specialist service has been really positive so far, with attendees commenting that they were “made to feel at ease” and that the nurse was “very understanding and patient and explained everything very well.”
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, GP Borough lead said: “I welcome the extension of cervical screening appointments, along with dedicated appointments for those who might require more time for their screening. Attending your cervical screening is really important as it can literally save your life.”
If you’ve received a letter inviting you to your cervical screening and you want an appointment between 6pm-8pm Monday-Friday or 8am-8pm on a weekend, please call your regular GP practice. Please note these extra appointments are being offered at five NHS sites across Croydon and your appointment might not take place at your usual GP practice.
You can make an appointment at the specialist clinics by calling one of specialist clinics directly:
All NHS sites are working hard to keep everyone safe during the current coronavirus pandemic. Robust cleaning between appointments is carried out, and staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment including an apron, visor and mask.
Patients might be asked about any potential symptoms before booking an appointment and might be required to have a temperature check before being allowed to enter the building.
A video about the extra appointments is available below
Croydon evening and weekend appointments are available at the NHS sites below and are bookable through calling your usual GP practice:
If you have any questions about the Croydon GP Collaborative, or you would like to know more about the services we offer, how to make a compliment or complaint, then you can do so via our contact us page.
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