How we work with partners to reduce health inequalities
We actively work with our partners to enhance engagement with local people, particularly with those who experience the worst health outcomes.
Cancer screening rates are currently low in Halton and Warrington. To tackle this, our Cancer Screening Coordinator has started to work closely with Warrington Borough Council’s Public Health and Neighbourhoods’ teams on ways to increase screening uptake across the town for the three major Cancer Screening Programmes - breast, bowel and cervical.
Cervical cancer screening
The first national campaign ran in January 2019, which focused on cervical screening uptake during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust led this campaign with their #SmearForSmear, asking women to upload a photo of themselves on social media platforms, with smeared lipstick and a line of encouragement as to why women should attend their cervical screening appointments.
This campaign was supported locally on our Cancer Team’s new social media pages by encouraging staff and individuals from different backgrounds and professions to upload a photo and a phrase. The campaign was supported by our staff and local nurses, driving instructors, women’s rugby team and 10-year-old Jess and her family:
Our Cancer Screening Coordinator and Public Health Warrington have met to identify the areas in our town where cervical screening uptake is significantly low and how we can reach people in these communities who would benefit from cervical screening.
During Cervical Cancer Screening Awareness months through March and April 2019, we worked with local hairdressing and beauty salons to raise awareness of cervical cancer screening. We promoted key messages of the campaign to help kick start conversations about the importance of screening in targeted locations within our town.
The eight-week campaign, beginning on 4 March 2019, was covered locally with the involvement of local hair and beauty salons who wore campaign t-shirts (see pictured) and delivered the key messages of the campaign to their clientele. Salons included Rebecca Christina, JLJ’s, Urban Edge, Studio 11, O’Brien’s, Limelight and Scott’s.
The salons shared messages on their social media pages – example post from Rebecca Christina salon:
“Warrington NHS have asked us to raise awareness about cervical screening with it being at its all-time low of women not having them, As a team we decided to take part and help make awareness so if your due make sure you have one and if your worried we promise it is nothing to worry about it doesn’t take long and not painful at all jus a little uncomfortable but it’s worth that to keep us all safe! Please spread the word ladies!!! Lets support each other! As the t shirt says cervical screening saves lives!!!”
The post above has reached over 3,000 people, with 20 shares and 83 reactions. This work was supported with various media opportunities as well as campaign marketing materials, including a video featuring Warrington Wolves players. We also worked with Speak Up, our local group for people with learning disabilities, Warrington Ethnic Communities Association and LGBT groups to discuss the importance of cervical screening during the campaign period.
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, our Screening Coordinator was joined by Anika Neill, Warrington Borough Council and Jess, Nurse from Cancer Research UK on Monday 29 May 2019 at a pop-up stall in ASDA, Cockhedge where they spoke with people about bowel cancer and the importance of bowel screening.
A number of people engaged with the team and a lot of anxieties were discussed. This gave us a good idea of the engagement and important messages we need to deliver when supporting the introduction of the new FIT kit when it is implemented later this year.