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Cervical Screening: Communications shaped by you

Earlier this year, we asked patients at GP practices across Gosforth and Jesmond to share their views with us about cervical screening.

This was the first in a new type of project, run jointly by North Gosforth and Jesmond Lower Gosforth Primary Care Networks, to address health inequalities in our area.

Aims

Our aim was to see if we could help make the decision to attend a screening that bit easier for people.

By understanding people’s motivations and concerns, we hoped to create new communications and processes that could increase the number of people who were regularly attending cervical screenings.

What you told us

More than 600 people shared their views and experiences in May and June with us. It gave us some incredibly valuable insight, and we appreciate people taking the time to be part of the project.

The full details of the survey can be read in our ‘What you told us about cervical screening’ post from late June, but these were the main points:

  • Embarrassment, anxiety and worry about the procedure being painful were some of the top reasons for not attending screenings.
  • You wanted more and better information about the changes to testing for HPV, and for people who do not have sex with men.
  • The number of people who die of cervical cancer – around 850 in the UK every year – was higher than you expected.
  • More than half of the respondents were surprised to learn that nearly all cases of cervical cancer – 99.8% – were preventable and that this should be the central message of future communications.
  • You wanted future campaigns about cervical cancer to be factual and statistically driven, augmented with first-hand stories from nurses and patients.

This gave us a clear steer and a great evidence base to create some new communications.

New Resources

In the coming weeks and months, practices across Gosforth and Jesmond will begin testing some new reminder letters alongside some other new initiatives.

But the central piece has been producing the below video. It’s information-rich, driven by powerful statistics about death rates and preventability, as well as using first-hand perspectives from patients and clinicians.