SHERWOOD MP Mark Spencery joined representatives from the Mercedes Curnow Foundation to hand in a petition of over 100,000 signatures to Downing Street, calling on the Government to consider dropping the qualifying age for cervical smear tests from 25 to 20, in line with the rest of the UK.
The Mercedes Curnow Foundation was established in memory of Mercedes Curnow, who died last December aged 23, from cervical cancer having campaigned herself for the age to be lowered.
Mark said: “Today was an extraordinary day. The bravery and determination of those who have campaigned to achieve Mercedes’ ambitions was quite overwhelming and to have secured almost 3 times as many signatures as the Sun did for the cause is incredible: they even managed to get the duty policemen on Downing Street to sign!
“While Mercedes was not a constituent of mine, I was contacted by Sherwood residents who had very similar stories; young girls below the 25 year old threshold being diagnosed too late with cervical cancer and in one case, apparently after being refused a smear test. Girls are dying and it seems they are dying needlessly.
“I am supportive of the Mercedes Curnow Foundation and feel that the Government needs to justify why the age for smears is 25 in England while being 20 for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If a universal approach for those between 20 and 25 is not appropriate, then at least an ‘opt-in’ system should surely be considered, because clearly, there are young women being fatally let down by the current arrangements.”