It’s a fact that cervical screening saves lives.

The cervical screening programme in Northern Ireland is offered to women aged between 25 and 64 to prevent cervical cancer.

More commonly known as a smear test, it is aimed at women who have no symptoms of disease, and detects pre-cancerous changes in cells that line the cervix.

Despite the screening programme’s life-saving objective, the NHS in Northern Ireland has been experiencing issues in result turnaround times, meaning women are facing delays in finding out whether they need treatment to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.

Now official figures released to Local Women have shown women are still facing unacceptable delays when it comes to the delivery of the programme. They have also highlighted a postcode lottery when it comes to result waiting times.

To find out how long you will wait for results from your smear test, read this month’s Local Women magazine, which is available from shops or download from the Local Women magazine website below.