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MP: NHS must not undermine young women

Labour MP Alison McGovern said the death of Sophie Jones, who died of cervical cancer aged 19 after she was refused a smear test because of her age, shows that a "culture change" is needed within the NHS.

Speaking during a debate on lowering the age of eligibility for cervical screening from 25, she said that the NHS "must listen to young women".

"There are lots of forces in society that are set up to undermine young women," she added. "Please let's not have the NHS be one of them."

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MP: Women 'should have choice' over smear test age

A mother has prompted a debate in Parliament after losing her 19-year-old daughter Sophie Jones to cervical cancer in March, saying that her child couldn't have a test due to her age.

In the commons, Steve Rotherham MP stated that he wasn't calling for routine cervical screening for all women under 25, but for "guidance, that women should be able to request a smear regardless of their age".

ITV News' Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty reports:

Charity: 'Worrying' decline in women taking smear tests

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, a charity dedicated to those affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities, told ITV News that women who are invited to take smear tests are increasingly failing to make the appointments.

Unfortunately, we are now seeing a downward trend in numbers of eligible women across all age groups who are attending their screening so there needs to be a focus on encouraging women to take up their invitation.

Worryingly, one in five women do not attend cervical screening annually.

For young women aged 25-29 this statistic rises to one in three, while for older women aged 60-64 screening uptake is at a 16-year low and numbers diagnosed with the disease is rising.

– Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Petition to lower smear test age gains 322k signatures

Following 19-year-old Sophie Jones' death from cervical cancer, 322,000 people have supported a campaign to change the law on smear tests

MPs will today discuss lowering the age limit for cervical screening from 25 to 16 after the record-breaking petition drew 200,000 more signatures than is required to trigger a Parliamentary debate.

Sophie Jones, 19, died of cervical cancer in March. Credit: ITV News Granada

The campaign was started by the family of the Merseyside teenager, who died in March after doctors refused her request for a smear test.

She had been suffering from pelvic pains, prolonged menstruation and loss of appetite, but was not screened because of her age.

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