Cancer screening for people with learning disabilities in Brent

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Brent aimed to explore the understanding of cancer screening from local residents with learning disabilities. Using focus group methods, the team spoke with 28 service users in Brent about cancer, cancer screening, the difficulties they experienced with accessing services and what would make screening easier for them.

Only 11 respondents had been screened for bowel, breast or cervical cancer. Whilst the group had a good understanding and awareness of cancer and cancer screening, there was less clarity about how screening and self-checks are performed, which often led to respondents choosing not to attend or self-examine.  The respondents found easy read information and related medical letters (invitations, results letters) about cancer and screening were not readily available and they did not get reasonable adjustments before and during appointments.

There were 11 recommendations about producing relevant information in easy read format, making reasonable adjustments and how Healthwatch Brent should take forward the findings of the report.

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General details

Report title 
Cancer screening for people with learning disabilities in Brent
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brent
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 August, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Information providing
Quality of care
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
Secondary care services 
Breast screening
Cancer services
Sexual health

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.