FEWER people received cervical tests in Barnsley last year, new figures have revealed.

Ahead of Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which starts on Monday, a cancer charity is urging people to get tested and share their experiences with others.

Cervical screenings, also known as ‘smear tests’, are offered to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 49 every three years, while those aged 50 to 64 receive their invitations every five years.

A small sample of cells is taken and checked for pre-cancerous abnormalities and viruses such as HPV, which can lead to cancer.

Figures from NHS England show, as of December, 49,276 people across both age groups in Barnsley had been screened within that time frame.

This was 74.4 per cent of the 66,217 people eligible - with the screening rate falling from 75.5 per cent a year before.

This also means 3,699 more people need to be screened to hit the government’s target rate of 80 per cent.