Further funding announced to help more people attend cancer screening in Leeds

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People in Leeds will receive more support to take part in cancer screening following further funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research and the Leeds GP Confederation.

The two organisations will work together to build on the progress achieved by the Cancer Wise Leeds project, which ran for three years and aimed to increase screening rates in areas where participation is low.

Nine cancer care coordinators will now be appointed to work with GP practices in eight areas of the city, helping to address health inequalities in the most deprived communities.

Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research, Services and Policy at Yorkshire Cancer Research said: “The Cancer Wise Leeds project had a huge impact in the city, working closely with small communities to find practical ways to boost participation in screening.

“By using learnings, insight and resources already gathered and developed through our previous work, we will help even more people take part in screening when invited. We must do all we can to ensure all people, no matter who they are or where they live, can benefit from these life-saving tests.”

The national screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancer help find early signs of cancer in people without symptoms. Finding cancer at an early stage means treatment is more likely to be successful. But every year in Leeds, more than 100,000 screening tests are not completed.

The new programme will receive a total of more than £500,000 in funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research and the GP practices involved.

Jim Barwick, CEO at Leeds GP Confederation said: “Screening for cancer is critical for all people, but for those that experience barriers to accessing health care, even more so. Increasing screening and early detection of cancer leads to better outcomes.”

“Leeds GP Confederation works hand in glove with general practice and the communities they serve and is perfectly placed to make this work a success. The Leeds GP Confederation is ambitious in its desire to improve outcomes for those people.”

The Cancer Wise Leeds programme was funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, led by Leeds City Council and delivered in partnership with the Leeds Cancer Programme. Coordinators based within Leeds GP Confederation supported the delivery of this programme. This collaborative work included introducing cervical screening appointments outside traditional GP hours and providing training to encourage participation among culturally diverse communities.