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Cervical Screening and Coronavirus

(75 Posts)
Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 09:53:46

I’ve had my letter through telling me my smear test is due. Called to book straight away as I always do but due to the coronavirus, the surgery isn’t booking them in to be done.

Is this the same everywhere or just my surgery?

Am I alone in thinking this sort of thing shouldn’t be left and that there is going to be a whole new set of health issues once we get back to some
sort of normality?

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Thu 16-Apr-20 09:58:40

Scotland has stopped all screening tests for the moment. I imagine lots in England will be postponed too

cologne4711 Thu 16-Apr-20 10:53:38

I don't think it should be left either. And lets face it, they are dealing at the other end to your nose/mouth so the risk of you coughing over staff must be pretty small! Fortunately mine isn't due until next year.

Laniakea Thu 16-Apr-20 11:22:58

No of course it shouldn’t be left.

The NHS must continue to function & it has a responsibility to protect its staff with adequate PPE but what’s the point of stay home save the NHS if there are no services?

When I was training we used to say that it would all work brilliantly if it wasn’t for the patients clogging up the system ... seems like some people have missed that that’s gallows humour ... the point of the NHS is to treat people.

Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 17:44:43

Another 3 weeks of isolation (atleast)

How long can they delay these for?

OP’s posts: |
90bisodol Thu 16-Apr-20 17:46:48

I had my letter just before the original lockdown announcement. My surgery aren't booking them for the foreseeable future but I'm not sure how long they can maintain that.

flowerycurtain Thu 16-Apr-20 17:47:58

I read on another thread they've also stopped contraceptive services.

Both of these things worry me.

bambinis Thu 16-Apr-20 17:53:30

NHS worker - the strong message from above is severe covid care and life threatening emergencies only. Stand down on everything else. This is in order to keep NHS capacity low, free staff up for covid care redeployment and massively reduce transmission rates (by not seeing any patients basically!)

Passportpacked Thu 16-Apr-20 17:55:29

I went for mine last week, the nurse said she was really grateful that I hadn't cancelled my appointment. She said she was worried about the eventual back log they will have to deal with and was pleased that our surgery was still doing them.

Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 17:57:52

@bambinis do you not think that message could cause the nhs to be overwhelmed with a new set of issues once everything is back up and running?

OP’s posts: |
Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 17:59:09

@Passportpacked not a country wide decision then. Can I ask where you are? Do you think the testing will still happen, or will that department not be running?

OP’s posts: |
TheCountessatHotelCortez Thu 16-Apr-20 18:05:13

I’ve just put on another thread that I don’t agree with this, mine isn’t due till next year thankfully but if it was due this year I’d be terrified something would be missed far more than getting the virus

QuimJongUn Thu 16-Apr-20 18:10:02

I'm due one. My mirena coil is due to be replaced this month, too. I can't get either done. I'm 47 so hopefully the risk of pregnancy is low, but of course it isn't non existent. It's the smear that's worrying me most. I've no idea what to do.

FishOnPillows Thu 16-Apr-20 18:11:32

It’s interesting you say about the eventual backlog. I remember when Jade Goody sadly passed away from cervical cancer, and the number of women suddenly getting smear tests rocketed. I worked in a hospital path lab at the time, and we really, really, struggled to actually process, test, and report all the samples that were coming through. Overtime, drafting in staff from other areas, and still a massive backlog. Which then still comes back every few years as tests are due again.

With a lot of screening, and indeed early investigations, it’s not just having the capacity of clinical staff to take the samples; but also of the labs etc to actually process and report them.

I’m not sure the current NHS plans have had any kind of longevity built in. Medics I know have been frustrated as all hell over the last few weeks as their hospitals have been half empty, so they could’ve still dealt with patients - instead they’ll now have a massive backlog at the end of the year.

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Thu 16-Apr-20 18:12:09

There are plenty of areas where they are not giving chemo to patients so I'm surprised you are surprised by this. It is worrying that someone with stage 4 cancer may die as a result.

My DH has a referral as a result of screening and all he has had is a telephone consultation and his actual appointment is postponed for 3 months. It is what it is.

My cousin had cancer surgery last month, her follow up appointment cancelled at the last minute and then another arranged. They want to look closer at her throat. Hopefully they won't cancel it.

pocketem Thu 16-Apr-20 18:16:15

In Scotland screenings for breast, cervical and bowel cancers are have stopped, as well as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and diabetic retinopathy eye testing.
Less than 0.3% of people screened for cervical cancer each year get an eventual diagnosis of cervical cancer so it's a relatively quick win if you need to redeploy staff to more urgent areas

Vargas Thu 16-Apr-20 18:22:18

I'm in London, teenage ds had an immunisation last week (non-urgent but booked well before lockdown) and I'm getting a new coil in 2 weeks. They called today to confirm.

It really concerns me that others are finding non-Corona NHS services aren't being carried out.

Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 18:24:53

I’m not surprised by it, but I think it’s a terrible decision. Not just the cervical screening but all the appointments / treatment they have stopped with potentially life threatening consequences.

OP’s posts: |
rottiemum88 Thu 16-Apr-20 18:26:54

Due to have mine tomorrow. It hasn't been cancelled

Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 18:27:50

@Vargas I am concerned too. Especially when so much emphasis is put on us to have the screenings and how important they are. It’s as if no other illnesses are possible while Covid is about.

OP’s posts: |
Vargas Thu 16-Apr-20 18:28:03

If GP surgeries are genuinely busy then I understand them cancelling some things, but when I took my ds, fully expecting to be turned away, he was seen on time and nurse was adamant it was fine and they weren't busy.

Namechangervaver Thu 16-Apr-20 18:28:59

We've been told standard smears should be postponed for three months but high risk ones to be done as normal.

Contraception: I think you'll be encouraged to switch to the pill

Vargas Thu 16-Apr-20 18:30:01

I need my coil as part of HRT. Perhaps that's why it hasn't been cancelled. I'll ask when I go.

Boredsheep Thu 16-Apr-20 18:30:29

Sounds like it is a surgery decision then in England.

OP’s posts: |
Tattiebee Thu 16-Apr-20 18:31:37

No contraceptive injections here, but also no one will prescribe the pill because they cant do the checks in person, thankfully it's a friend not me who is trying to figure that one out at the moment, but it's ridiculous. It's understandable why things have been cancelled, but it's terrifying to be honest. Smear uptake is low anyway, I can't imagine everyone will make an app for a catch up one when this is over. Immunisations are going ahead though.

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