Lancashire bowel cancer screening team to present at international conference

Members of the Lancashire BCSP Health Promotion Team. From left: Shakil Salam, Andrea Pugh, Shahida Hanif, Gillian Hughes, Lorraine Morris and Sadiq Patel

THE innovative work of the Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme’s health promotion team is to be featured at a leading European conference in Austria.

Members of the team, based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, will be talking at the World Endoscopy Organisation’s Expert Working Inequalities Group Meeting about their new “Call for a Kit’’ initiative.

The initiative has helped boost screening uptake rates significantly in individuals who did not initially respond to calls to take part in the bowel screening programme.

Shahida Hanif, a Health Promotion Specialist in the team, said: “We have been invited to Vienna to talk about the Call for Kit project at the conference’s  inequalities working group which will feature a range of presentations illustrating the problem of inequalities in colorectal cancer screening and showcase examples of activities and strategies to reduce them.

“They have asked us to talk about how the Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is helping reduce inequalities in the communities it serves in Lancashire. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work done by  the health promotion team.’’

She added: “We have had huge success with the Call for a Kit project.

“The team invite individuals who have not originally responded to offers to take the test by offering them a clinic appointment at their own GP practice. At the clinic the individuals are shown the kit, have a discussion about the benefits of taking the test and shown a DVD. Once they consent a kit is ordered for them.

“This project has an uptake of 58% which is brilliant and it’s the only project nationally that is achieving that kind of uptake in the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

“We are proud to go to Vienna and put the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and the Community Voluntary Services  on the international map of good practice and showing how to help reduce inequalities.’’

Dr Mark Hendrickse, a Consultant Gastroenterologist who oversees the screening programme, said: “The health promotion team has worked hard to increase uptake in screening for bowel cancer in Lancashire.

“The Call for a Kit initiative is an exciting and innovative project which is showing very impressive results .It’s fantastic that the team’s work has been recognised internationally in this way.’’

The project has also been greatly supported by local Lancashire GP practices, NHS England and the national Bowel Cancer Screening centre in Rugby.

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