Primary care cervical screening report

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Summary of report content

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. In total 897 women shared their views in the County which is the highest completion rate for any survey carried out by Healthwatch County Durham in the last two years and it reflects the importance screening programmes have in the early detection of illnesses. Cervical cancer screening supports detection of symptoms that may become cancer and is estimated to save 4,500 lives in England each year. Improvements in coverage would mean more cervical cancer is prevented or detected at earlier, more treatable stages. In Healthwatch County Durham survey sample it was reassuring that the vast majority of women recognised the health benefits of cervical screening and did make timely appointments to attend. However there were barriers for some women, one of the greatest being fear and anxiety. From the information provided in Healthwatch County Durham surveys and their discussions with women we have made the following observation for commissioners and service providers to consider. Women told us they felt 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. Healthwatch County Durham wondered if there could be a more effective follow-up procedure, for instance using texts or emails as well as letters. Suggesting times to attend or setting up on-line appointments systems for screening. We recognise there are some constraints on appointments due to the menstrual cycle, but still feel there is scope for improvement. The report contains no recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Primary care cervical screening report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch County Durham
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

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? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.