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Information stands for cervical screening

This page is aimed at primary and secondary care professionals who are planning an information stand. It may also be useful if you are planning a stand for your workplace or community group.

Information stands can be a helpful way to educate the general public about cervical screening, as well as encourage any questions.

What is an information stand?

Information stands are simply a table or other surface with lots of printed information patients can take away and perhaps chat about with you. If you have access to a tablet or laptop, you can also offer information digitally.

We suggest setting up a stand that looks bright and colourful, perhaps with bunting, balloons and posters. You might like to offer refreshments, such as tea and cake, as part of the stand. Some surgeries have even had speculums and brushes available for patients to see and touch.

Some people decide to fundraise as part of their information stand. If this is something you want to do, our Fundraising team can support you.

An information stand

A table with a information laid out on it and decoration around it.

When should an information stand be set up?

You know your patients and your surgery best, so think about a time that works for you – ideally when there is a lot of footfall. For example, if you run mother and toddler clinics during the week, that could be a good time. 

You could:

  • have a permanent stand in a waiting room or lobby 
  • have a one-off stand, for example as part of a drop-in clinic.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in January and Cervical Screening Awareness Week in June may be a good time to have an information stand, as cervical screening will be in the media and a more common topic of conversation. 

Preparing for an information stand

You will need to order, download or create materials for your information stand. We have:

Our patient information is fully evidence-based and rooted in our experience of working in communities, so you can rely on it to tell your patients all they need to know.

Read about how we research and write our information >

Engaging with patients at an information stand

  • Decide who should host the information stand. An information stand works best when someone is hosting it – essentially, they are available to talk to anyone who visits the stand. A sample taker is a good choice, as patients can meet someone who may be doing their cervical screening and ask questions. Or you may have reception staff or a community connector who is already friendly with lots of patients, which could make the stand more approachable. 
  • Welcome patients. A ‘hello!’ and a smile can help people feel at ease and establishes a verbal relationship between you. This can be helpful if they want to ask questions.
  • Don’t pressure patients to talk. Sometimes they want to use the stand as a discreet way to get information without having to ask someone. 
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have the answer. You never know what kind of questions you’ll get on an information stand. If you don’t have the answer to something in the moment, say ‘I want to make sure I give you the right information, so let me check with a colleague.’ You could invite them to drop in again in a few days or signpost them to our support services .
  • Be prepared for patients to disclose personal experiences. You may find that an information stand encourages patients to open up to you – which is wonderful, but something you may not know how to handle. If a patient discloses a particularly traumatic experience that affects cervical screening, such as sexual violence , you can signpost them to our support services . 
  • Respect different views. Your aim may be to raise awareness or educate patients about cervical screening, but you might find some have different beliefs or opinions about the test. Try not to get into a heated debate – instead, thank them for their time and tell them to get in touch with any questions.

August 2023 - Please be aware that this information for health professionals is currently undergoing regular review in line with our editorial policy. However the information remains valid.


Barriers to cervical screening >

Find out the different barriers patients may face and how you can offer support.

Use our resources

We have posters, leaflets and booklets available to download from our online Shop.

Download resources
Date last updated: 
12 Nov 2020
Date due for review: 
01 Nov 2023
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