Bolton Practice Nurse cervical screening post goes viral

A Practice Nurse in Bolton ‘went viral’ on Facebook by highlighting the importance of cervical screening.

The Facebook message was shared by more than 70,000 people and received almost 9,000 comments from women posting their personal experiences of the screening process.

“You’ve made me think about it/reminded me. I’ll book it now” was one of the many comments highlighted on the post.

Rachel gave personal advice as a nurse and encouraged women to be vocal if they were feeling nervous about the screening process.

Since Rachel has been in in her current role she has made a number of changes within the practice, firstly by amending the invitation letter that is sent out to all women who are eligible for a smear test.

They are now much more personalised and printed on pink paper.

There is also a 'nurse notice board' within the waiting room. The first display focussed on the importance of women attending their smear test.  

Dr Stephen Liversedge, Clinical Director of Primary Care and Health Improvement at NHS Bolton CCG said: “Cervical cancer can be prevented by attending your cervical screening appointment. As a CCG we strongly encourage women to accept their invitation for screening when they receive it. Women who are concerned about signs and symptoms of cervical cancer should seek advice from their GP or Nurse.”

“I think Rachel has done a brilliant job in raising awareness of cervical screening. Due to the high level of social media activity I hope this encourages more women to attend their smear test when invited.”

Rachel Carr, 48, from Bolton, said: “I didn’t expect the post to be shared as widely as it has done and provoke the reactions and comments it did. I've definitely learnt a lot to enhance my practice and improve patient experience, particularly for ladies who haven’t attended their test. I hope that my message has encouraged women to pluck up the courage to book and attend their cervical screening appointment.”

“There is nothing to be embarrassed about; cervical screening saves lives.”

Around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year, and around 690 women die from the disease.

It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.

If you are over 25 and haven’t had your cervical screening, make an appointment with your GP today.

You can find Rachel’s ‘viral’ Facebook post here – https://bit.ly/2X8jDIN

For more information about cervical screening visit, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

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