A Surrey partnership project has won a national award for improving access to breast cancer screening services for women with learning disabilities.
A group of women with learning disabilities played a key role in the success of the project after working with the project team to help them understand the reasons for low numbers attending for screening.
The women, who receive support from Surrey Choices’ Lockwood Activity Centre, also helped to produce easy-to-read guides explaining each step of the screening process and the benefits of screening. Other adults with disabilities, who are also supported by Surrey Choices, helped with the design and printing.
One participant said: “We decided we wanted to help other ladies who might be frightened about having breast screening. I am proud of the work we’ve done. We wanted bigger booklets with simple words and pictures. We were listened to.”
The project was a collaboration between InHealth, Surrey County Council, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey Choices. It won the “Make It Better Award” from the British Institute of Radiology. The full media release can be found here.
Other aspects of the project included providing training for staff who carry out the screening. The project led to a near-doubling in the number of women having contact with the Surrey breast screening service.
Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “This is a great example of how partnership working can benefit our residents and I’d like to congratulate all those involved in the project on achieving national recognition. I hope other screening services here and elsewhere can learn from the work that’s been done to demystify the screening process for vulnerable women, potentially saving lives.”