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Tips For Improving Coverage

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 The NCSP Guidelines require general practices to provide women with all the information they need to make informed choices about all aspects of cervical screening.  Women's preferences for time, location, smear taker, cost etc will determine their choice of smear taker. Because women may find it difficult to communicate to their doctor/nurse that they prefer to go elsewhere, it is recommended the process can be made more comfortable for them through offering the information on alternative smear takers in the first instance.

Wherever a woman goes for her cervical check, once the sample has been received at the laboratory, her NHI is used to log the result and it is counted at the practice and PHO where she is registered, NOT at any alternative smear taking service.

Click here for alternative smear taking services across the Auckland Region.   Women can be given a copy along with their first invitation and each first recall letter. 

There are two main alternative providers in Auckland:  

  1. The Well Women and Family Trust takes a mobile cervical screening service around the region and partners with other service providers to provide choice for women including free smears where women meet MoH criteria.  See the calendar and contact the team.  The Well Women and Family Trust provide an Asian Screening Service.  Click here for Chinese and Korean Korean CS language flier.docFliers.
  2. Free Cervical Smear Screenings at Manukau SuperClinic 
    Free clinics available at Manukau SuperClinic, Breast Screening Rooms (upper floor), 901 Great South Road, Wiri. Regular free smear clinics every second Saturday 8am-12:30pm and every third Friday 2pm-6:45pm at Manukau SuperClinic.   To make an appointment, email with your name, date of birth, address and NHI (if known) or phone 09-250 8097/09-250 8023

General Practices need to update their records for women who have smears taken elsewhere.  Although nearly all women give permission for their results to be copied to their GP, this depends on absolutely accurate and complete contact details being provided by the woman.  If a copy of her smear result has not been logged in the PMS this is due to the laboratory not receiving the correct information from the woman.  A regular audit of all eligible women 20-69 against the NCSP Register will show which women have gone elsewhere and their results will be recorded on the NCSP Register. 

Letters that get a response:

Do your letters to women risk being put in the bin because they look like a bill?  Some practices have taken time to tailor their letters, use coloured envelopes, put attractive graphics on the page, and always use friendly language....  The health literacy experts provide evidence that the "you are overdue for your smear" kind of message, even though meant kindly, is likely to be perceived very negatively.  Instead we are advised that a:  "Well done for having a smear in the past - we want to encourage you to look after yourself and come along again for your regular cervical check" kind of message will generate a more positive response.  Here are some examples:

For Maori   (includes reference to Te Whare Tangata)

For Pacific

For Indian



Tailored invitations: 

e.g. when a woman has not responded to recall, or may have had a smear elsewhere, or has previously declined, or the nurse suspects may have had a bad experience before

Opportunistic Conversations

Sample Script to encourage women to arrange to have a smear when attending the surgery for other reasons

Women who have had a hysterectomy may have been archived by the PMS

Total or subtotal hysterectomy?  benign or abnormal previous history?  Other health issues?

Practice Management Systems often automatically exclude women from further recall if there is any Hysterectomy code in the system.  However increasingly, this may not be appropriate and it is important to ensure women who do need further smears are recalled, and women who don't are not recalled.

Click here for the guidelines for management of women with a previous hysterectomy.

Where there is the need to cease unnecessary recall for smears generated by the NCSP Register, contact the Auckland Regional NCSP Team (Ph 630 9822, Fax: 630 9848) who will send a fax to the practice confirming what information is needed from the practice (a registered health professional) and a template for communicating that information formally. (See Fax template for Declaration for Missing Total Hysterectomy Information).

Receptionists can provide a discreet reminder


These are for Receptionists to give out to women visiting the practice for other reasons.  They have been very popular as a discrete and courteous way of reminding women that they can talk to a nurse or doctor about cervical smears (without starting a sensitive conversation in a public waiting area).  The English Version has now been translated into Chinese and Korean.

Just print off the A4 sheets and cut into slips that can be kept on the desk.

Even Better Invitations: 

More invitation slips and an example of how, if laminated, these can be prepared as bookmarks to give away (This example comes from Alliance Health Plus)


Display all the National Cervical Screening Programme Resources (posters, pamphlets etc.)

NCSP Resources

What is Cervical Screening?

Frequently Asked Questions

Collaborate with other Clinics 

To provide women with more choice of time and easy access to cervical smears. Contact us for some ideas and key points to consider. Well Women and Family Trust have developed an MOU which can be used to ensure that when clinics are held in community settings, the environment is suitable and safe for women.

National Women's Health
Phone: 09 307 4949
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