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One year ago, I wrote an article about Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2023. Since that article was written, the statistics for the number of women diagnosed with this disease don’t appear to have reduced. It is still said to be 3,200 women per year.  

I looked back at the campaign that was run by the NHS in 2022 encouraging women to book a cervical smear test, and then, only two years ago, the figure quoted was 2,700 women being diagnosed each year. That is a frightening increase. 

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2024 takes place from 23 – 29 January. This year, as in 2023, the theme is encouraging women to accept NHS screening invites. 

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme England, 2022 – 2023 annual report published in November 2023 showed that the number of women attending the screening on time had dropped to 68.7% from 69.9% the year before in the age group 25-49 years. Also, in November 2023, the NHS pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040 by making the HPV vaccination more accessible and increasing the uptake of cervical screening. 

For information on NHS cervical screening and how to book an appointment, follow this link. Read the full report from NHS England here

Melanie Lidstone-Land is a Senior Associate in our Personal Injury team. She has a wealth of experience in clinical negligence cases and is particularly interested in delayed diagnosis cases, especially delayed diagnosis of cancer. She says: “We will hear a lot through January 2024 about the signs of cervical cancer, that early detection is key and that, of course, getting the vaccination where eligible or screening is invaluable. Perhaps this should continue through the year and not just one week or one month? This is of vital importance to all persons with a cervix and I question whether there needs to be more commitment at GP level to chase patients and encourage screening appointments to be taken up?”

At Lester Aldridge, we regularly receive enquiries from people who have experienced delays in referral and diagnosis of cancer. Sometimes, those enquiries are from family members following the loss of a loved one to cancer. There are occasions where things have gone wrong; there has been a failure to refer or a delay in the referral, which has led to advanced disease, sometimes terminal, being diagnosed at a late stage. This can mean that the treatment is more invasive, less effective or that only palliative care is then available.

How can we help?

Lester Aldridge pursues medical negligence claims for clients and their families in these situations, and we are successful in securing awards of damages for them.

Please get in touch with us at or call 01202 786260 to find out more information on how we can help you.