Winning application 2011
The Winner of the Cervical Screening Award's 2011 was the Lesbian and Gay Foundation LGF, NHS Salford, for their ‘Are You Ready For Your Screen Test’ which was a campaign to raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women need regular cervical screening tests. They used a Hollywood-themed campaign which included humorous short films on You Tube based on blockbuster movies like Star Wars, Love Actually and Dirty Dancing. Less than half of lesbian and bisexual women of eligible age surveyed in the North West had been for cervical screening during the recommended three to five years previously.
Key highlights of their campaign included:
- Just 49% of respondents of an eligible age (25-64) had been for a cervical screening test within NHS recommended time scales (within 3 years for women aged 25-49, and within 5 years for women aged 50-64). In the post campaign survey this figure stood at 73% (just 9 months later)
- 51% of women at an eligible screening age reported some form of positive behaviour change as a result of the campaign.
- 96% felt that the campaign was effective.
- 93% of participants think more needs to be done to train health professionals in the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) women relating to cervical screening.
- After only nine months of raising awareness with the campaign the LGF noted that screening attendance amongst the lesbian and bisexual women surveyed jumped from 49% to 73%.
Highly Commended winners
The Highly Commended winner was the Community Health Improvement Team, Dudley PCT for ‘Life Is Precious’ – an innovative campaign working closely with minority and ethnic communities to improve cervical screening uptake.
The team worked closely with Community Representatives and groups to reach local minority ethnic communities who, local figures showed, were less likely to respond to a screening invitation. They helped them overcome language issues, to find out more about the importance of regular testing and to overcome fears and build their confidence.
By the end of the year-long campaign they had seen a real boost in awareness of the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and a positive change in behaviour when it came to screening. The particularly positive thing to come out of the project is that they have started to build a team of health champions who will go back to their communities and share that knowledge with their families and friends - and in turn they are speaking to family and friends across the country. They currently have 17 Community Health Champions now and predict that they will reach around 400 people over the next year, so the benefits have the potential to be even greater and more widespread.