Mums Are Being Offered Free Childcare To Attend Cervical Screenings
Childcare providers across the UK are offering to look after children for free while mothers attend cervical screening appointments.
Smear test attendance is at a 20-year low, with one if four women not attending the potentially life-saving test, with reasons ranging from embarrassment, to lack of knowledge of the test purpose, and fear of the test itself.
Now one excuse is being taken out of the equation: childcare.
Childcare.co.uk, the UK's largest platform for parents and childcare professionals, is offering mothers an hour of free childcare so they can attend a smear test. The offer is available nationwide, and currently over 500 childcarers have signed up to the initiative.
Cervical screenings (or smear tests) help doctors determine whether a woman is at risk of cervical cancer, which in 99.8 per cent of cases is preventable with the right treatment. Women are invited to get a cervical screening from the age of 25 to 64 by the NHS.
Though the test only lasts five minutes, Childcare.co.uk is offering mum the chance to look after their children for a whole hour, taking into account waiting times and travel to and from the doctors.
Richard Conway, Childcare.co.uk founder said: "There's been a lot in the media about a fall in women not attending smear tests for various reasons, and I suspect a main one for mothers is not finding the time around their children.
"We wouldn't want women missing out on their smear test because of a lack of childcare and we loved that individual childcarers were offering this, so we thought we'd help out. Within the first few hours of us asking our members, we had more than 500 childcarers sign up to the initiative. We hope this will make a huge difference!"
Childcare.co.uk got the idea after seeing independent childcare providers offering the service, and decided to wheel it out nationwide. Since, dozens of other childcare providers have added the offer to their services.
But childcare isn't the only industry helping the Public Health England's current campaign to increase the rate of tests.
Earlier in April, beauty booking platform Treatwell launched an initiative to encourage women to talk more openly about cervical cancer screenings in up to 500 salons across the UK.
While the figures for smear test attendance is so low, intimate waxing is on the increase with 1.2 million women in the UK regularly booking in for their bikini waxes and more. In response, Treatwell used the shocking stats to speak directly to women about the importance of cervical cancer screenings as they get their waxes.
Let's hope these great campaigns get more women to head down to the docs!
Featured Image Credit: PA