From 1st December 2017 there has been a change to the national cervical screening programme for women aged 25-74. The Pap smear has been replaced with the cervical screening test for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The sample is collected by the doctor in the same way . If the test is negative it does not have to be repeated for FIVE years.
There is an option for women over 30 who are 5 years overdue for their Pap smear to collect their own sample under the supervision of their GP.