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Could 10 minutes make a difference?

Innovative ideas are being researched in the ongoing struggle to reach the 80% national target for cervical screening coverage - we constantly explore new ways to reach the non-attenders

Earlier this year I applied for the IBMS Biomedical Science Day Activity Fund and was delighted to be provided with a grant of £500.

The grant was based on my plan for providing a video to be shared in with members of the public, and which would highlight the cervical sample taking process, and give an insight into what happens to the sample after being dispatched to the laboratory.

My initial thought was to highlight the importance of cervical screening to those in schools and universities; these students have not yet reached screening age, but their educational base provides an established group giving us established forums to share this information with.

Too often I have heard young people say, “I’ve had the cancer jab”, after receiving HPV vaccination injection – I feel we need to reinforce the true message before misinterpretations become ’the norm’.

Our cytology laboratory based at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton provides the West Midlands Primary HPV Cervical Screening Testing Service and it comprises of an enthusiastic group of highly skilled professionals. The staff were keen to participate and with a culmination of ideas we managed to produce our 10-minute video within two weeks! The video was approved for public use by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

After sharing the video on social media using the link we have received extremely positive feedback, and requests have poured in for its use in various community groups.

We have now produced the video with subtitles in English and are currently working on having these subtitles in other languages to include Romanian, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Arabic.

Our plan for roll-out to students is progressing.

Grateful thanks to those who are making this all possible – Institute of Biomedical Science, RWT Cytology Team, RWT Clinical Illustration, and Black Country Pathology Services management for their support.

Hilary Diamond, MSc CSci FIBMS

Service Manager for the West Midlands Primary HPV Cervical Screening Testing Service