The NHS Scotland national screening programmes, which were paused in March because of coronavirus (COVID-19) are now resuming safely, carefully and in a series of stages, says NHS Western Isles.

Anyone who was invited for cervical screening before the pause should now contact their GP practice to make an appointment.

This applies to anyone who was yet to make an appointment or who had made an appointment which was then cancelled.

Appointment invitations and reminders are now also being posted (from July 20), with invitations sent to those who receive more frequent (non-routine) cervical screening appointments.

Invitations to attend routine screening appointments will be issued from September 2020, once NHS Western Isles has caught up with non-routine appointments affected by the pause.

You should not attend your appointment if you are self isolating or if you are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste). You should contact your GP Practice to reschedule your appointment.

If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, you should arrange a test at the earliest opportunity by contacting the COVID-19 Response Team on 01851 601151 or email: 

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It is important to emphasise to patients that, in between screening appointments, or as they wait for rescheduled appointments, they should continue to be aware of and act on any symptoms associated with the conditions being screened for.

If you have concerns, you should call NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88, or contact your GP for advice.

Changes you may notice at your appointment

  • We are restarting our screening programme, but there will be changes to how we deliver these services. These changes are intended to keep you and our staff safe.
  • Staff will be wearing the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and reception and waiting areas will be quieter (if in use at all). You will be required to wear a face covering in clinical areas. You may wish to ask about individual GP Practice arrangements when making your appointment.
  • Your screening appointment may take longer to allow for safety measures to be followed.
  • We would ask that you attend your appointment alone unless you need help from a carer or family member, and please attend your appointment on time.
  • We would like to reassure you that there is no change to the screening test itself.