Navigating the National Cervical Screening Program: How to optimise the use of self-collection and manage your patients’ follow-up

29 Mar 2023
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM


Available to
Practice Nurses
Practice Managers
General Practitioners
Practice Staff

Continuing Professional Development

1 RACGP CPD hour - Educational Activities


This session will look at optimising the use of the self-collection option for cervical screening in primary care and the advantages and disadvantages of the method, so you can effectively support your patient to make informed choice. We will also look at management and options for abnormal self-collection result follow up, recent introduction of new testing processes and touching on some general cervical screening topics.

Self-collection for cervical screening became widely available on 1 July 2022. Nine months on, many have already had their first self-collection test. This session will address not only the remaining questions and concerns from patients and clinicians about self-collection, but also management and choices available to patients and doctors for follow-up of abnormal self-collection tests (can they do self-collection again?) 

At VCS Pathology, our GP Liaison Physicians regularly receive enquiries from primary health care providers with questions about self-collection and cervical screening, or to gain a better understanding of follow-up recommendations. We will focus on a few of these more common queries (for example around: invalid/unsatisfactory results, HPV (not 16/18) results and co-testing). 

Using case study examples and interactive questions, we will include practical information and tips to get the most out of self-collection and cervical screening and make it work for you, your patients, and your practice and keep us on track to eliminate cervical cancer in Australia by 2035. 


Dr Alexis Butler - GP Liaison Physician, VCS Pathology, ACPCC

Dr Alexis Butler is a GP Liaison Physician at VCS Pathology, a division of the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer. Alexis has extensive experience in providing cervical screening advice and education for health professionals. She is also the GP Liaison Physician at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and has worked previously as the GP Education Consultant at The Royal Children's Hospital. She has also worked as a GP, in family planning and in mother baby units for many years in the UK and Melbourne.  

Dr Ella Ellwood-Shoesmith - GP and Clinical Editor, Health Pathways Melbourne 

Dr Ella Ellwood-Shoesmith is a GP in the inner north of Melbourne, with a special interest in Women’s Health. Ella is also a Clinical Editor at Health Pathways Melbourne and has been involved in recent updates to the Health Pathways Cervical Screening pathway.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the HPV self-collection option to support your patient to make an informed choice 
  • discuss the appropriate follow up for abnormal self-collection results 
  • describe the different self-collection testing processes now available in primary care.