Public health campaign triggers surge in numbers attending cervical screenings at ‘worst possible time’

Women could be forced to wait months for cervical cancer screening results because the planned closure of dozens of laboratories has left the service in “meltdown”, the Guardian has been told.

The crisis has been triggered by a surge in numbers of women attending smear tests following a government public awareness campaign launched last week. The campaign coincides with an exodus of biomedical scientists due to a restructuring process that will reduce nearly 50 hospital screening laboratories to nine this summer.

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