Cervical screening or “Smear Tests’’ are for women and people with a cervix. Cervical screening checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.
All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter. Invites are handled by a central NHS organisation and do not come from the surgery.
The Cervical Screening appointment will be carried out by one of our Practice Nurses at the surgery.
During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix. The sample is checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called “high risk” types of HPV. If these types of HPV are not found, you do not need any further tests. If these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of your cervix. These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
The programme sends screening invitations to people with a cervix who are registered as ‘female’ or ‘indeterminate’ at the following ages and intervals (determined by Public Health England):
- Age 24.5: first invitation (invitations to first screen are issued at 24.5 years)
- Ages 25 to 49: 3-yearly screening
- Ages 50 to 64: 5-yearly screening
- Ages 65 plus: screening of those who have not been screened since age 50, or those who have not yet met the criteria to be ceased from the programme.
It is very important that you call us to book your appointment when you receive your invitation for Cervical Screening. If you think that you may have missed a recall, then please contact Reception. If you know you have missed your last cervical screening, you do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment.
All Doctors and Nurse Practitioners are qualified to give advice on Family Planning and all forms of contraception. Currently, we do not fit coils or implants at the surgery. If you need to have a coil removed this can be performed by our nursing team.
For yearly contraceptive pill checks, please book an appointment with a Practice Nurse.
Please contact your local pharmacy for advice on this, they can issue same day emergency contraception.
Alternatively, advice is available at the practice. Please contact Reception for an Emergency Appointment.
Hormone Replacement Therapy – HRT
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause. It replaces hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the menopause.
If you would like to explore starting HRT you will need to contact Reception and book in for a Doctors for an appointment to fully explore your options and appropriate treatment. A GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that’s suitable for you.
HRT reviews can be performed every 6 months by our Nurse Practitioner.
Breast Screening (Mammograms)
NHS breast screening checks use X-rays to look for cancers that are too small to see or feel. These are widely known as Mammograms. Anyone registered with a GP as female will be invited for NHS breast screening every 3 years between the ages of 50 and 71.
You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you.
You’ll automatically get your first invite for breast screening between the ages of 50 and 53. Then you’ll be invited every 3 years until you turn 71.
If you’re trans or non-binary
If you’re a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary how you are invited will depend on the sex you are registered with at a GP:
- if you’re registered as female with a GP you will automatically be invited for breast screening
- if you’re registered as male with a GP you will not automatically be invited for breast screening.
If you’re a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary you may be invited automatically, or you may need to call us to make sure or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.