Collaborating with System Partners to Improve Cancer Screening Uptake

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Our Cancer Screening and Awareness Programme, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, delivers work with Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in the most deprived areas of Leeds, supporting GP Practices with strategies to increase screening uptake, particularly targeting patient groups who have the lowest engagement in screening.

In November, our Cancer Care Coordinators and programme Service Delivery Manager, Sarah Holbrey, attended the Leeds Cancer Health Inequalities Task Group Shared Learning Event. Hosted by Public Health, this was a great opportunity for the team to meet face to face with members of the Cancer Prevention, Awareness, and Screening Steering Group, and the three Cancer and Health Inequalities Task Groups, of which we have representation on.

The team were invited to deliver a presentation about the programme and their work so far. The presentation covered the objectives, benefits, and early challenges of the programme. Each Cancer Care Coordinator covered the main patient target groups and proposed approaches for their PCN. It was wonderful to produce something jointly, that captures our progress to date and planned future work. The team also had the opportunity to facilitate group discussions with attendees, drawing on expertise to explore scenarios they are experiencing in trying to reduce barriers to screening.

The event provided valuable information to our Cancer Care Coordinators, such as summaries of key workstreams from the Task Groups, each of which focus on working with specific populations where cancer outcomes are the poorest. Speakers included NHS England’s breast screening pathway improvement work, updates from West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, as well as Yorkshire Cancer Research.

It was an exciting experience to talk at the event about my findings on some of the strategies I was using to overcome barriers to smear uptake. Our group discussion topic was on how we can break barriers within the Culturally Diverse Communities. Group members were fully engaged, and we discussed some of the barriers such as the coding of ethnicity in patient records, which doesn’t allow us to understand patients from their cultural point of view. For example, ‘Other European Whites’ includes Polish, Romanian and Portuguese patients, who could be having different barriers.

I also learnt about the Bowel screening sample ‘poo catcher’ pilot from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, taking place in Bradford with South Asian communities. I think this is a very good project and I look forward to its results, as I think it will greatly increase the uptake for Bowel screening.”

Claire Nanyonga, Cancer Care Coordinator, Armley PCN