Surely more appropriate...
...for his predecessor...?
Women are today flooding UK health secretary Matt Hancock's social media presences with pictures of flowers that look a little like female genitalia to protest the suggestion they are "shrinking violets" when it comes to getting smear tests. The campaign, led by the Women's Equality Party, aims to bombard both his Twitter …
Not all smear tests are a quick swab, for some women that will show nothing and is less than useless. My partner was told by the top gynaecologist in the country to refuse all smear tests, which she has done for over 10 years now. Only a gynaecologist that knows her history can properly test her for cervical cancer. The NHS making her feel guilty for not getting a useless test is not helping.
(anon to protect the missus' privacy)
Re Smear test check for cancer. You test for a virus and treat that which massively reduces the chance of getting cervical cancer. If you dont do the tests and wait till you get cancer you are on chemo and fingers crossed.
Not had a smear test for ten years is risky.
I think you should get a second opinion.
... could do worse than looking into Georgia O'Keeffe's pretty posy paintings.
With that said, this is actually nothing more than an attempted DDoS attack, when you think about it. What does the Law in Blighty say about ElReg (and now myself) encouraging such things?
Side note to ElReg: What would mussels and their byssus have to do with it?
Perhaps the Womens Equality Party should check the original source of the results he's quoting - a quick google seems to indicate that the source (already been quoted on NHS website for about a year) is a survey by
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.
where they report results of a survey they commisioned in 2017 into low uptake in 25-29 age group of women where they (an organisation that seems to be pretty women orientated) state
cervical screening is currently at a 19 year low with only 72.7% of women attending their screening in 2015/16. Uptake drops even lower among 25-29 olds of which only 63.3% attended equating to almost a quarter of a million young women not taking up their invitation in England.
Key findings include:
Over a quarter (26.7%) are too embarrassed to attend cervical screening
Over two thirds (70%) don’t think cervical screenings reduce a woman’s risk of cervical cancer
72% of the 25-29 year olds surveyed do not feel comfortable getting undressed in front of doctors or nurses however in stark contrast just under one in ten (8.4%) would consider surgery to alter the way their genitals look
Over half (51%) of the women surveyed reported delaying or not attending screening with almost one quarter (24%) admitting they have delayed for over one year and almost one in ten (9%) having never attended the test
Reasons for not attending include simply putting it off (33%), worrying it would be embarrassing (27%), or worrying it would be painful (25%).
but when the health secretary quotes this out the WEP decide to heap abuse on him
You're absolutely right that the government is simply (and belatedly) acting upon an old survey. But it's worth pointing out that only 17.7% of respondents were 'shrinking violets' (ie - they had never attended a smear test, despite being eligible and invited to one) while another 4.7% had never been invited (perhaps the gov should launch another campaign, telling GPs' surgeries not to be so prudish?), so questions deserve to be asked about how representative it is, not least because that means only 500 or so respondents were able to discuss why they were avoiding the tests. Further, among the reasons given for either delaying booking or not attending a test, "I was worried it would be embarrassing" was second (26.7%), behind "I just kept putting it off" (32.9%), and only narrowly ahead of "I was worried it would be painful" (25.3%) - why, then, do we not have similarly high profile campaigns urging women to prioritise a smear test, and attempting to put them at ease?
While I agree that the WEP could perhaps acknowledge and do something about the low takeup of smear tests amongst women, a campaign that addresses only the angst around the tests - and does so by simply telling women not to be scared, employing a dated and patronising phrase - is clearly not the best possible response to the data, either.
[NB: presumably there was some rounding of results, and obviously not all respondents answered every question, as these percentages lead to very odd fractions when compared against the stated sample of 3002 women aged 25-29 - even the initial question resulted in 0.404 of a person correctly identifying the purpose of a smear test]
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