From December 2018 to February 2019, Wessex Voices engaged with 200+ women aged 50+ years, who live in more deprived areas of Dorset and Hampshire, to explore why they don’t or have stopped going for NHS cervical and breast screening. At the time of the project, the number of older women attending cervical screening appointments was at a 17-year low.
Women told us they understood the importance of screening but had various reasons for not going, such as having a bad experience previously at a screening; felt they were healthy and did not need to go; inconvenient venue locations and appointment times. Taboos also still exist about women's health issues.
Several recommendations were made, but key ones included:
- Exploring how to make screening less uncomfortable and more dignified for women, both in terms of process and improving staff training.
- Making appointments more accessible to women in terms of time, places and booking methods.
- Recognising women feel vulnerable at this time and providing a warm welcome and advice on how they can relax.
Findings were used to inform NHS Public Health colleagues who manage screening programmes and those they work with to improve screening uptake nationally and locally.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight
Date evidence capture began
Saturday, 1 December, 2018
Date evidence capture finished
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of appointment
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner?
NHS England and Improvement - South East
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
Secondary care services
Obstetrics & gynaecology
Number of people who shared their views
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?
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?