Date lodged: 25 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions have taken place regarding plans to increase cervical screening coverage among women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Answered by: Shona Robison 6 February 2017
On 8 February 2017 we will launch a new, hard-hitting awareness raising campaign on cervical screening targeted at 25-35 year old women living in Scotland from lower socio economic groups as we know they are less likely to attend.
Officials work closely with Health Boards to develop initiatives to improve uptake for women from disadvantaged backgrounds within the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme. Recent local initiatives include regular drop in screening sessions for women from disadvantaged backgrounds and clinics engaging with homeless women and those seeking help for drug and alcohol use.
We recently commissioned research with women from disadvantaged backgrounds into the reasons for non-uptake of the screening invitation. The results of this work will inform our engagement and communications strategy to support the programme and encourage participation in cervical screening particularly amongst those less likely to attend when invited.
Furthermore, we are investing £5m of funding from the Cancer Strategy in our screening programmes to reduce inequalities in access to screening in Scotland.