Women in England to be offered DIY smear tests they can use at home
Women in England are to be offered DIY smear test kits that they can use in their own homes.
The NHS are rolling out the tests as part of a trial run across the country in an attempt to increase the numbers of women being screened for cervical cancer.
The rate of women attending smear tests in the UK is now at a 21-year low, with less than three quarters of women who were eligible for smear tests having been screened by this time last year.
DIY kits will be delivered by post to women who cannot afford to purchase similar tests from online retailers - or those who would feel more comfortable taking the test in their own home.
The trial will focus on women in the London area and the north east of the country who missed their last smear test.
Public Health England head Duncan Selbie said it was "just not OK" that cervical screening numbers had dropped as low as they had in the UK.
"We want to find multiple ways of making it more convenient for people to just be able to walk in," he said.
"Or doing it at home. We are piloting in parts of the country a home test, so people don't have to go in."
This comes as people across the UK and Ireland remember Jade Goody 10 years after she passed away from cervical cancer.
Her death triggered what has since been called the 'Jade Goody Effect', a dramatic increase in women attending cervical screenings. This number has steadily declined over the years.
Women included in the NHS's trial scheme will receive their DIY smear test within the month.