The winner of the 2012 Cervical Screening Award went to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for their Cervical Screening Outreach campaign lead by Rita Sandhu. With Walsall reporting a lower then average uptake for screening and numbers decreasing faster than they were nationally the campaign aimed to target hard to reach groups. These included Black & Minority Ethnic women, those with a learning or physical disability and mothers with young children, as well as women in general who are scared, embarrassed or worried about being screened.
Activities for the outreach programme included health promotion with community groups, setting up special clinics, conducting home visits and communicating with poorer performing GP practices.
As a result of the activity there was a halt in the decline in screening uptake in the area which is now seeing a steady rise. Originally planned to run for one year, the service was also extended for an additional 18 months due to its success.
2012 Highly Commended
NHS Lanarkshire’s North East Unit Health Improvement Team received the Highly Commended accolade for their campaign “Smear Amnesty”.
Cervical screening had been declining in Scotland for the past ten years and so their “smear amnesty” targeted individual non-attenders who were sent an invitation in a bright pink envelope inviting women to relaxing evening screening sessions. The team also lead education sessions to key organisations in the community.
The results saw 126 women from 7 practices attend 19 smear amnesties. Many of the women were persistent non-attenders with a gap in between smears ranging from 3.5 to 30 years. There are now plans to roll this campaign out across the whole of Lanarkshire.