A systematic review of people's experiences of breast screening - a rich and diverse picture

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Summary of report content

Wessex Voices (Healthwatch in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Southampton and Portsmouth) Wessex Voices were commissioned by Public Health commissioning, NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) South East, to conduct a systematic review of breast screening literature. The aims of this were to understand the views of people eligible for breast screening and identify gaps in knowledge and areas where further insight is needed.

This unique systematic literature review consolidates the significant body of published evidence around people’s experiences of breast screening from their many different perspectives. This insight paints a vivid picture about how people from various backgrounds experience and view aspects of the process – from the understanding and beliefs they hold before they attend screening, to their thoughts about and feelings upon receiving the results.

The review also helps identify gaps in knowledge and areas where further insight is needed. All of the themes emerging from this intelligence highlight that providing equitable access to screening and additional personalisation of the process would be beneficial in helping to improve uptake and existing processes.

Recommendations are made based on the evidence collected. They are included throughout the review, with the intention of providing examples of good practice, as well as identifying actions for readers. The recommendations are later summarised in Section 11 for key stakeholders to actively consider for action.

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General details

Report title 
A systematic review of people's experiences of breast screening - a rich and diverse picture
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Dorset
Healthwatch Hampshire
Healthwatch Isle of Wight
Healthwatch Portsmouth
Healthwatch Southampton
Date of publication 
Thursday, 23 September, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other government body
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Breast screening

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
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
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.