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Time To Test: Why Pets at Home signed up

Posted on: Thursday, 8th September 2022 by Louise Stonier – Chief People and Culture Officer, The Pets at Home Group

In December last year, our team at Pets at Home signed up to Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust’s #TimeToTest campaign: committing to raising cervical cancer awareness in our workplace and playing our part in preventing cervical cancer. 

We know that 1 in 4 women and people with a cervix don’t attend cervical screening when invited. It can be a difficult test at the best of times, but it can be an additional challenge to fit an appointment around working. That’s why we want to empower our colleagues to look after their cervical health. If cervical screenings cannot be made outside of colleagues contracted hours, we will support and work with colleagues to ensure that they can attend their appointment.  

My own story

To support launching Time to Test at Pets at Home I shared my story with 800 colleagues across the business.  I wanted to do this not only to make colleagues feel supported, but also to educate them that they can still catch high-risk HPV even with the vaccine. I wanted to explain that cervical screenings really can save your life.

I have always attended my cervical screenings. However, in May 2020, I received by first abnormal result confirming I was HPV positive with abnormal cells and was told I needed to attend a colposcopy and biopsy in hospital to assess the level of changes to these abnormal or precancerous cells. Although my first reaction was panic, confusion and fear, I needn’t have worried. The colposcopy nurses were lovely and the treatments were virtually painless. I am now being looked after by the NHS and attend annual colposcopy appointments and biopsies to keep a close eye on my cervix, and to ensure that these abnormal cells don’t turn into cancer.   

After sharing my story, I received lots of positive and supportive messages from fellow colleagues asking my advice on everything from the HPV vaccine to cervical screening and procedures.  If this empowered my colleagues to book their cervical screenings when their letter might have been stuck on the fridge with a magnet for a few weeks then it was more than worth it .  

It’s difficult to know how many colleagues in our business have used this service since we launched Time to Test but what we do know is that we had positive and supportive feedback from colleagues, both verbally and across our social media platforms. We definitely raised awareness of cervical screening across our workplace.

 

Sign up to Time To Test

You can help make it easier for your staff by joining our workplace campaign. It's simple to sign up and can make a real difference. Help raise awareness of cervical screening and cervical cancer in your workplace and support the women in your team to look after their cervical health. By showing your commitment, you will be helping create an environment where your staff feel able to raise topics such as cervical screening and health appointments, and ensuring they can attend this potentially life-saving test. 

Whether you work in an office, the NHS, a factory, a shop, or at home – flexibility to attend healthcare appointments and making Time to Test is as important as ever. 

 

 
 

For more information on Louise's story, HPV, Colposcopy, and CIN Grading you can see more on this NHS video: https://youtu.be/XAkKutsrBfc >

For support about cervical screening, here's how we can help > 

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