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Cervical cancer prevention week written in pink on black background

The Maia Network signs up to Time to Test initiative to support cervical cancer prevention

Maia has signed up to ensure that colleagues are able attend cervical screenings if the appointments are within the working day.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the charity behind the initiative, has revealed that 1 in 3 people feel they are unable to get time off to attend their appointment.

Samantha Dixon, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said:  “There are many barriers to cervical screening but work is a very practical one which we can and should try to tackle. It’s worrying to see so many having to take annual or sick leave to attend a routine medical appointment. Employers can help stop this and make cervical screening and cervical health visible and important in the workplace, so more people feel confident and informed to attend.”

Meredith Coney, one of Maia’s Advocacy and Allyship Champions added: “One of the principal values of the Maia Committee is ‘cohesion’, to be strong and supportive of women* across campus. Looking after our own health and well-being can often find its way to the bottom of the to-do list but by recognising Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and signing up for the Time to Test campaign we want to encourage our colleagues to prioritise their test. 

“We are all aware of the pressures that the NHS face and it can be difficult to find alternative appointment slots. If you have been invited to attend a test appointment which is during the time when you are normally at work, I encourage you to speak with your line manager so that you can get your test on time.”

Students and Doctoral Researchers are also encouraged to attend their cervical screenings. You may have received your HPV vaccine at school but if not, you can access the vaccine for free via the NHS. If you are an international student and you are registered with a GP you will be able to access the HPV vaccine for free, as long as you are under 25.

Cervical screening for trans men and non-binary people can present further challenges. Currently, only individuals registered as female with their GP will receive an invitation. As you won’t receive an appointment letter automatically make sure you set a reminder for yourself or see if you GP can amend your medical record. 

If you would like more information about cervical screening and the Time to Test campaign, the Maia network will be running a stall in EHB on 23-27 January between 12.30pm-1.30pm.

*including trans women and non-binary people