YouScreen is a research study that will involve 31,000 women in North and East London, they will be offered an opportunity to do a self-sample for cervical screening. London has the lowest uptake for cervical screening in England, women who do not regularly attend their cervical screening appointments are more likely to develop cervical cancer. The idea behind the YouScreen self-sampling kits is that it will make cervical screening easier and will encourage more women to book and attend appointments. 

YouScreen kits are being offered to women who are overdue their cerivcal screening appointment, they will be offered either by post or at the GP practice that is signed up to the service. Cholmley Gardens has signed up to provide this to our eligible patients.

What is a YouScreen home sample kit?
The kits allow women to take their own sample for cervical screening, using a vaginal swab (similar to a long cotton bud). It is easy to use and can be taken at a time and place that is perhaps more convenient than a doctors surgery. There is no need to have an appointment or examination beforehand, and most women find this process pain free and comfortable. The sample that is taken will be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) at a lab.

Women who are invited to take part in the YouScreen study will need to:

  • Follow the instructions in the YouScreen kit and in this video to take a self-sample 
  • Write the date the sample was taken on the sample tube
  • Fill in the laboratory consent form
  • Fill in the questionnaire included in the kit
  • Send sample (completed kit) to the laboratory in the freepost envelope
  • Send back the completed questionnaire 

Is a self-sample as effective as a sample taken by a doctor or nurse?

A sample taken by a doctor or nurse is most effective. However, a self-sample is a very good alternative if a woman does not wish to have a cervical screening sample taken by a doctor or nurse. Self-sampling is already being offered routinely in other countries with high-quality cervical screening programmes. Research shows that 99 out of 100 women are able to do self-sampling properly.

How do women find out their YouScreen test results?

After the YouScreen kit is posted to the laboratory, results will be sent to women by letter to their address within 14 days. A copy of the result will also be sent to their GP.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

Some women find it difficult to make an appointment for cervical screening because they are busy or their GP practice is busy. Some women may find it uncomfortable or embarrassing to have a test taken by a doctor or nurse. Women that are offered a YouScreen kit will be able to take a test for cervical screening without having to be examined or to make an appointment.

In other studies, some women who had not been for routine cervical screening and took a self-sample were found to have abnormal cervical cells and were successfully treated.

Is information available in another language?

If you have received an invitation to the YouScreen study and need the information in another language, click on the relevant link below.

Who is organising and funding the study?

The YouScreen study is funded by the North Central and East London Cancer Alliance. It has the support and approval of NHS England London Region and Public Health England. The study is sponsored by University College London and the research is being led by the Cancer Prevention Trials Unit at King’s College London.

Published: Jun 10, 2021