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Monday, May 16, 2005

Smear Smears.

The NHS has recently changed their guidelines for frequency of cervical smear tests. They have decided it is adequate to invite women to have their first pap smear at 25, followed by a test every 3 years, until the age of 49. Then, between the ages of 50 and 64, women will be invited to have a smear test every 5 years.

That's all fine, their reasoning sounds, well, reasonable.

I learned all this while in the waiting room at my GP practice last week, and picked up the leaflet for something to do.

Then when I had read all that, I started looking at the various translations of the vital information which the leaflet also contained.

My gluey collage which you can see above contains the chart in English explaining the new system, and its translation into French. If you know any French, click on the image to look in more detail, and go mistake-spotting.

Because it's actually a huge, huge mistake. French-speaking people in South Yorkshire will be very, very scared.

They are being told that between the ages of 25 and 49, they will need three smear tests every year, and then between 50 and 64 they will require five smear tests every year. My own experience of the evil tests are that the results wouldn't even be back before the next one was due!

So, a big oops for whoever the French translator for that leaflet was. I dread to think what they may have mangled in the many other languages on there which I can't read or speak.

I called the Cervical Smear Screening Programme that morning and informed them of the error, and the woman I spoke to sounded stunned, as I was, that that had somehow gone out, and said that she would contact the South Yorkshire programme which had put out the leaflet.

So, Hippie saved the day. Or something! Look out for new leaflets! Posted by Hello