Fewer women in Oxfordshire completed cervical screenings for cancer last year, new figures show.

The NHS England statistics indicate 67.6 per cent of 211,569 eligible 25 to 64-year-olds in Oxfordshire were adequately screened as of March 31.

This was down from 69.1 per cent the year before, and below the target of 80 per cent.

Nationally, 68.7 per cent of eligible individuals aged 25 to 64 were adequately screened this year – a fall from 69.9 per cent in 2022.

Chief executive of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, Martin Hunt, said: "We understand that it’s not an easy appointment for everyone. 

"It can sometimes be difficult to attend for a variety of reasons including work and childcare commitments, anxiety, and misinformation surrounding the test.

"But these tests are vital; they can prevent cancer."

The charity added that it is "incredibly frustrating" to see targets missed for the 19th year in a row.

It said NHS England's recently announced goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2040 is "going to be challenging".

The national decline in coverage was primarily driven by a fall in 24 to 49-year-olds being screened.

This age group is invited for tests every three years.

In Oxfordshire, 64 per cent were screened as of March this year – a fall from 66.1 per cent in 2022.

Of the eligible 50 to 64-year-olds in the area – who are invited every five years – 74.6 per cent were tested as of this year, down from 75.1 per cent the year before.