By Ben Spencer for the Daily Mail
Published: 00:00 BST, 16 October 2019 | Updated: 07:26 BST, 16 October 2019
Women must be offered lunchtime mammograms or smear tests to halt a collapse in screening rates, a report demands today.
The official review said breast and cervical cancer tests should be made far more convenient. Women would be able to have them carried out at surgeries and clinics near work, instead of at their GP.
Millions of lives are in danger because routine screening is at an all-time low; the latest take-up rate is around just 70 per cent. Commissioned by the NHS, the 136-page report warns that poor leadership has created 'confusion, delays and risks to patient safety'.
It highlights alarming research suggesting half of those who fail to attend screening appointments did not find the time or simply forgot to go.
Women must be offered lunchtime mammograms or smear tests to halt a collapse in screening rates, a report demands today (stock)
Sir Mike Richards, the former national clinical director for cancer who wrote the report, called for radical change to address the crisis. 'Every day of delay is a missed opportunity to catch a person's cancer or disease at an earlier point, and potentially save their life,' Sir Mike said.
As well as more convenient sessions, he calls for GPs to be given financial incentives to offer appointments in the evenings and at weekends.
Cervical screening attendance is at its worst level in 21 years – with just 71 per cent of the eligible