Cornwall MP Backs Cervical Screening Campaign In Parliamentary Debate

Medical Experts Say Public Support Is ‘Positive Step’

12.12.2012

An MP in Cornwall has backed a Penzance’s mum campaign to lower the age of cervical screening for women in a parliamentary debate yesterday (11th December).

Andrew George, MP for St Ives, showed his support for the Mercedes Curnow Foundation which campaigns for cervical screening to be introduced for women under the age of 25.

It was set up by Penzance mum Sandra Cousins, whose daughter Mercedes died of cervical cancer last year, aged just 23, after it was diagnosed too late.

Sandra has instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to help win justice for her daughter after her death last year.

Julie Lewis, Partner and a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We have long supported the Mercedes Curnow Foundation and the work Sandra does in raising awareness about the symptoms of cervical cancer and the importance of early detection.

“This is a hugely positive step for the campaign and we hope the Government will now seriously consider lowering the age of cervical screening to help prevent any other families from going through what Sandra is.”
In response, Health Minister Anna Soubry offered to meet with the MP over extending screening to younger women.

During the debate Mr George also claimed the Government has underfunded the NHS in Cornwall by more than £200 million over six years. He suggested that the amount of money NHS health trusts receive is significantly less than what the government funding formula indicates they deserve.

Liberal Democrat MP, Mr George, said in parliament: "Cornwall gets significantly less than Government says we deserve.

"The Government should take account of Cornwall's under-funding in recent years. For example, between 2006 and 2012, in those six years alone Cornwall has received £201 million less than its target. That is a very significant amount of money."

Medical Law experts at Irwin Mitchell, who are part of a specialist team helping those concerned about the treatment they have received by Royal Cornwall gynaecologist Kenneth (Rob) Jones, have praised the MP for highlighting his concerns.

Julie Lewis added: “Following reports that the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust is investigating the conduct of Rob Jones and another surgeon, it is positive steps are being taken by a local MP to ensure NHS services are financially supported.

“Sadly, we are regularly contacted by distraught family members who have lost loved ones to medical negligence as a result of hospital trusts being under staffed or under trained and the key way to improve services is to ensure each department has the funding they crucially need.”