We work together with NHS England and Islington (NCL) CCG to help develop the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. This includes invited female patients between the ages of 25 and 65 to have regular screening in order to identify early signs of cervical cancer. We would like to encourage everyone eligible to attend as screening can save lives.
Invites are usually done by sending a text message reminder but you may also receive a letter in the post from us. NHS England routinely sends out invite letters to your address so please respond. If you would not like to receive these invites, you will need to sign and return a Disclaimer form: Cervical Smear Disclaimer Form.
Earlier this year a number of women were erroneously invited via text. An investigation has taken place and identified the issue. Text message invites have resumed as a result.
We have received the following statement of assurance from the CCG:
Dear CCG/Alliance GP Cancer Lead,
On 13 May, I wrote to inform you of an incident in the Cervical Screening SMS Reminder Catch-Up project, in which 3,400 women were erroneously identified as being overdue for cervical screening and sent a text message advising them to book a screening appointment. (Please see original communication below).
A multidisciplinary panel has now concluded an investigation into the root cause of this incident and determined that this occurred because of inconsistencies in the configuration of fields within NHAIS - the database that was used to identify women eligible for the SMS. NHS Digital and the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) have rectified this issue and Panel is assured that the project can resume safely.
I am now writing to inform you that the Cervical Screening SMS Reminder Catch-Up project will operate from next week.
I also want to reassure all practices that SMS reminders remain one of the most effective methods of improving cervical screening uptake. Since 2018, NHSEI and Iplato, with the support of NECS, have safely sent over one million SMS reminders to women invited for cervical screening across London. Practices and sample takers can remain confident in the rigour of the operating processes and information governance of this programme.
NHSEI would like to thank all practices and partners for their support in the delivery of cervical screening text reminders In London.