READERS have shared their concerns after health centres missed cervical screening targets, commonly known as smear tests, for the third year in a row, according to the latest figures.

According to NHS Digital, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) found that just 76 per cent of the 126,755 patients in Cumbria eligible for a smear test attended a screening and had a clear result by the end of 2021.

This was down from 77 per cent at the end of 2020, and 79 per cent in December 2019.

The national target is 80 per cent.

However Cumbria did do better overall than the national average across England, which is at 70 per cent by the end of 2021.

Readers speculated over the reasons why targets have not been hit.

Pip Larkin said: “This is directly a result of Tory policy destroying the NHS and privatisation.

Natalia Wealleans-Turner said: “Perhaps women aren’t attending because they are yet to receive an invitation to attend. I will be chasing my GP on Monday.”

Diane Hardy said: “Saved my life. Over 12 years free of cancer. Had to have a hysterectomy as it was in my womb too.”

Janine Adams said: “When you are invited... I was invited yesterday for the first time in five years.”

Gordon Long said: “Lockdowns caused massive spike in cancer deaths, mental health issues and more or less destroyed the country economically.”

FredTheCat said: “But it'll be the NHS that'll be blamed, not those who choose not to go...”

5LizW55 said: “Maybe something to do with the vaccinations and how they think they have proved how the disease is caught.”