Summary of report contentThe Healthwatch County Durham work plan for 2016/17 included research into the barriers to health screening programmes. This is linked to the refreshed Primary Care Strategies of the North Durham and Durham, Dales Sedgefield and Easington Clinical Commissioning Groups. The work plan specifically required Healthwatch County Durham to research screening programmes which have the poorest uptake to explore the reasons for this. The cervical cancer screening programme plays an important part in preventing cervical cancer and reducing late diagnosis. Cervical cancer prevention week 2018 took place at the end of January and Healthwatch County Durham took the opportunity to research the uptake of cancer screening in the county to see why some eligible people were not taking part in the screening programme and if there was anything that could be done to encourage more people to participate The key points raised by the nearly 900 women who responded to the survey were: it was easier to delay or forget about the screening as they receive a letter to make an appointment, rather than an actual date to attend.; nursing staff need to be mindful about the way in which they interact or talk to patients. Unintentional actions or comments can have an impact on women and can make them reluctant to have the procedure repeated; and that there need to be continued efforts to reinforce the importance of attending screening, including information about the HPV vaccination and how it ties in with the screening programme. Of note were the 25 women said they were too frightened or embarrassed to attend when invited for screening. Healthwatch County Durham noted that the leaflet that is sent out with the invitation letter does not give enough clarity about the importance of still attending for cervical screening if you have had the HPV Vaccination. There was also a suggestion that there could be a more effective follow-up procedure, for instance using texts or emails as well as letters and suggesting times to attend or setting up on-line appointments systems for screening may improve uptake.
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Primary Care cervical screening, County Durham
Healthwatch County Durham
Date of publication
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began
Monday, 1 January, 2018
Date evidence capture finished
Wednesday, 31 January, 2018
Type of report
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced?
Primary care services
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
Conditions or diseases
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report
Number of people who shared their views
All people 18 and over
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?
Types of health and care professionals engaged
Does the information include other people's views?
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views?
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?