A LANARKSHIRE screening initiative has received a ‘Highly Commended’ award as part of the 2012 Cervical Screening Awards run by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s only charity dedicated to supporting women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.
The NHS Lanarkshire North East Unit Health Improvement Team (Bellshill, Motherwell and Wishaw) won the award for their ‘Smear Amnesty’ campaign.
Christine Reid, Health Improvement Officer, said: “The team is thrilled to receive this award. The Smear Amnesty project targeted individual non-attenders who were sent an invitation in an eye catching bright pink envelope.
“We worked with key organisations in the community and South Asian women, our largest minority ethnic group, to run education sessions on the benefit of screening.
“We were delighted to see 126 women attend the amnesties. Many of the women were persistent non-attenders with a gap in between smears ranging from 3½ to 30 years.
“Through a questionnaire we also found that the time most women would like to have a smear is in the evening. We now have plans to roll this campaign out Lanarkshire-wide.”
Robert Music, Director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “With 9 women a day in the UK being diagnosed with cervical cancer and the cervical screening programme saving around 5,000 lives a year, it’s crucial that all women are taking up their invite.
“Judges thought the Smear Amnesty campaign was an innovative project showing positive work among different communities. It’s fantastic to see campaigns like this increasing screening uptake and making a real difference.”
The Cervical Screening Awards aim to recognise innovative local campaigns that have worked hard to increase awareness, drive uptake and ultimately save women from a disease that claims three lives every day.
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