Introduction Of DIY Smear Testing Kits Could See A Big Increase In Screenings

The introduction of DIY smear testing kits has been in the news recently. The aim of the tests looks to improve the number of women being tested for signs of cervical cancer.

Queen Mary University London have developed a home testing kit for cervical cancer, which would mean that a woman wouldn’t have to go to their local GP surgery or hospital to receive the standard smear test. The test that the University has developed allows the woman to take a vaginal swab or sample of urine at home and then send it to a medical clinic for testing.

Low number of women being screened for cervical cancer

In spite of the Jade Goody effect, which saw an increase in cervical screenings in the years following her death in 2009, the number of women undergoing cervical smear testing has reached a 20 year low.

Around only 70-75% of women undergo smear testing, citing reasons such as embarrassment or not finding the time to undergo the testing. It is hoped that providing a device that a woman can use in the comfort of their own home will improve take up and result in the disease being caught earlier, more often.

Potential problems of DIY smear testing kits

There are sure to be issues arising concerning the reliability of the testing in terms of how easy the kits are to use, whether the samples taken are time sensitive, samples being lost in the post and so on.

However, there have been positive outcomes associated with the home test kit for bowel cancer and it is hoped that similar outcomes can be achieved when it comes to cervical cancer.


Any measures that can be taken to help fight this horrible disease and improve outcomes should be welcomed. However, sometimes things go wrong and there can be concerns about the medical treatment that has been received.

Here at Nelsons, we often see the tragic outcomes that occur when cancer is not picked up and treated quickly enough. This can occur due to failures in care associated with missing important clinical signs, failures to refer for investigation or treatment soon enough to catch the disease early or scan results that are reported incorrectly.

DIY smear testing kitsHow can Nelsons help?

Carolle White is an Associate & Chartered Legal Executive in our expert Medical Negligence team.

At Nelsons, we have extensive experience of dealing with claims involving people who have developed more advanced cancer as a result of failures in their medical care. Such outcomes can have devastating effects on those involved and their families, especially when the cancer has advanced to the extent that it is incurable.

We understand that bringing a medical negligence claim can be daunting. Our wide ranging experience ensures that we can give you expert advice in a sympathetic and understanding way in pursuing a claim for compensation.

If you have any questions in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, please contact Carolle or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form for a free, no obligation discussion about your case and your options.