A team of nursing staff in the North West have set up a smear test clinic for hospital employees in a bid to help encourage those who are busy caring for patients, to look after themselves too.
The clinics, which have been set up at the Royal Bolton Hospital, are now available for staff to attend at a time convenient for them and comes as a mark of support to a national campaign, launched last week, which aims to raise awareness of cervical cancer.
As reported previously by Nursing Times, Public Health England announced the campaign to help encourage all women to attend cervical screening appointments because rates have reached a 20-year low, with one in four eligible women in the UK not attending their appointment.
In wake of the campaign launch, nursing staff at the hospital’s women’s healthcare department wanted to find a way to help staff to get their tests done at their place of work, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust told Nursing Times.
The trust noted that this was because sometimes making a trip to the GP could be hard for hospital staff to fit in.
As a result, the clinics were arranged last month and are now taking place throughout March and April.
“We know our staff are passionate about caring for their patients and sometimes put caring for themselves at the bottom of their list”
Sister Tina Gundlach-Clare manages the women’s health care unit at the hospital. She said: “It’s important that we take care of ourselves and each other, so as a team we organised a series of clinics to support our staff.
“We know our staff are passionate about caring for their patients and sometimes put caring for themselves at the bottom of their list,” she added.
According to PHE, around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England every year and around 690 women die from the disease, as previously by Nursing Times.
It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented, noted the government arms’-length body.
Ms Gundlach-Clare said: “The best way of protecting yourself against cervical cancer is by attending regular screening appointments when invited, so we wanted to make it really convenient for our staff whom may not be up-to-date with their tests to have their smear test in their break time.”