Big gold star - or should that be pink - to staff at Little London Surgery in Caldmore this #CervicalCancerAwarenessWeek.
Their team effort has seen an 83% take up rate of potentially life-saving smear tests among women in the area covered by the practice.
Practice manager Louise Paul said with the help of deputy manager Rachel Johnson and colleagues the team had extended screening hours to encourage women and had also ensured interpreters were available for women whose first language isn't English.
"We have also worked with Linda Hayes, Cervical Screening Outreach Nurse with Walsall Healthcare, and she has screened those who have difficulty accessing our services. We're all committed to this; it's so important," said Louise.
"We are in an area with health challenges but by working together we've shown what can be achieved."
Walsall women are being urged to “Reduce your risk” this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and ensure they attend potentially life-saving screening sessions.
Two women die every day from the disease in the UK and 75% of cervical cancers could be prevented if women had regular smear tests. Nine women each day are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer Awareness Week from 22 – 26 January is a UK-wide initiative led by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. It aims to ensure women know how they can reduce their risk of the disease and the steps they can take to look after their health.
Linda Hayes, said: “If you’ve received your letter to attend your routine cervical smear test then please don’t delay. The test shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and while I appreciate some women are embarrassed about it and may feel anxious those feelings are perfectly natural but not worth missing this vital screening for.”
Linda works across Walsall with a number of GP practices to enable women to take advantage of their screening test but in addition to this, works in an Outreach Capacity to carry out home visits for women who are unable to access GP appointments. This enables women who are sight impaired, have a learning disability, mobility issues or are survivors of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) to be able to have this vital screening.
She also runs a support group for women with cervical cancer. For further information or a chat in confidence then please contact: Linda on: 01922 602610/07814 986176 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org