Well today feels like it has been really productive so far. Amongst responding to my clients, I have been working to raise awareness of the whole smear testing under 25’s issue, having recently received treatment for advanced stage 3 pre cancerous cells found from a smear test which took me a year to get due to being under 25. I was very lucky – some are not so lucky
First I spoke to the Mayor of North Lincolnshire’s Secretary (I worked with the mayor on Saturday night). She advised that I speak to my local MP rather than the mayor, so she gave me the details of Andrew Percy’s office. I called the office and spoke to a lovely man called Robert Lingard who is the Senior caseworker and researcher for Andrew Percy. I have to say, I am very impressed with the response that I have received from Andrew Percy’s office, they have been caring, warm, kind, interested, and helpful.
Thank you for this, I’m really sorry to hear that and we wish you all the best. Let me know if you want us to chase anything with the Trust.
Robert informed me that NHS England has been contacted in March 2013 regarding this issue, and he e-mailed me their letter of response.
It appears that NHS England don’t see this issue as an important matter. Reading their response made me feel angry, upset, and honestly a little helpless. This is going to take some serious fighting to make change. I am willing to stand and fight for this, and I will not stop, until action is taken.
I have attached a photos below of their letter of response if you fancy reading the whole thing, but to summarise what NHS England have said, there aren’t enough cases of cervical cancer in under 25’s to warrant the smear testing age to be lowered. I do however have a point to make on this statement that they made:
…it is really important that women with symptoms, irrespective of age should inform their GP who will refer them appropriately …
Having turned 24 on 27th September, I informed my GP from October/November 2012 about abnormal bleeding and other related symptoms, and returned monthly with related issues. Referrals and smear tests were refused. I was not being listened to, and there was nothing that I could do about it. I rang the local private hospital (Park Hill) to enquire about paying for a smear test. They informed me that I could do this, but would have to be referred by a GP. So I had hit a dead end.
Currently I am investigating possible routes that could be taken to make a change. If anyone has any ideas, or contacts that may be useful, please get in touch. Your support will be much appreciated.
Alexandra xxx PS below is the letter from NHS England to Andrew Percy