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Support to screening service

Pinnacle Midlands Health Network (Pinnacle MHN) offers screening support services for BreastScreen Aotearoa and the National Cervical Screening Programme in Waikato. The purpose of the service is to provide targeted follow up, outreach and support to priority group women who experience barriers to accessing breast screening, cervical screening, colposcopy, and assessment and treatment services.

To improve access to cervical screening services, Pinnacle MHN providers can:

  • ensure women are fully informed of the type and extent of the support services offered
  • ensure women can make an informed decision about these services
  • provide emotional support at appointments, advocacy and navigation services
  • provide practical support as required, to enable women to attend screening services (such as transportation)
  • offer in home cervical screening where necessary, from a registered mobile nurse.


Priority group women must be:

  • eligible to receive publicly funded New Zealand health services
  • enrolled with a Pinnacle MHN practice within the Waikato DHB catchment area.

Cervical screening priority group women are:

a)  Māori, Pacific or Asian women aged between 20-69 years who are due/overdue; and
b)  all other women aged between 30-69 years who have either never been screened, or not been screened for more than five years.

If you need assistance or have any further queries, please contact your practice support.

How to refer

Pinnacle MHN practices can now refer patients for cervical screening after all practice attempts to contact a woman have failed.

Support to screening FAQs

Are all service providers trained smear takers? 

No. There are two certified smear takers currently working for the service. The other providers have been trained to provide support for the women. 

How quickly are patients contacted once the referral is sent? 

Within 10 working days.

Are patients contacted by phone before visiting or will someone just turn up at their door? 

The process is for providers to attempt three contacts. The first contact will be by phone, we will also use text messaging and there will be a visit to the patient's address. If we are unable to make contact, the referral will be closed and the practice will be informed.

How will we know the outcome of the referral? 

If women are successfully screened, the registered GP will receive the lab results. The practice will be advised if the patient cannot be contacted, or declines the service.

Will service providers make appointments directly with the practice? 

Yes, if the woman wishes to have her smear at the practice. Providers can help her to make the appointment and if she requires transport, we can provide that as well.  

Is this service just for Pinnacle MHN patients? 

Yes. If a woman is not enrolled with a practice we will provide her with a list of GPs in the WDHB region. 

If our staff provide the smear, can we claim for it?

Yes, you can claim using the advanced form for Medtech practices or the manual form for non-Medtech practices.

Will you contact or talk to patients without our knowledge?

There is a chance we will come across women in the community opportunistically and we may invite these ladies to have a smear at a place of their choosing, if appropriate. In addition to this scenario, we are contracted to receive referrals from BreastScreen Midland, and with these referrals we will also check if the woman is overdue for her smear. If she is, our outreach staff will contact the practice to see if it is appropriate to have a cervical smear discussion with her. 

To avoid any inappropriate contact, it will be really helpful if we all work towards ensuring that the National Screening Unit (which holds the breast and cervical screening registers) holds details that are as up to date as possible. This particularly pertains to those women who have made an informed decision to decline breast and/or cervical screening with their health team. Where this is known, our team will not contact the practice. 

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