Increasing uptake for collaborative cancer screening

Understanding the range and impact of cancer screening activities across the SW Region in order to increase uptake for breast, cervical and bowel screening.


The South West (SW) Cancer Alliances and Public Health England wanted to understand the variation in screening uptake across their geography to identify areas of good practice, and to address health equalities in more deprived areas and for those with additional needs, such as mental health and learning disabilities. SCW was asked to carry out an audit of screening activities and present the findings in the form of a cancer screening directory to be shared at a regional stakeholder event to inform future planning.


Working with both the SW Alliances and Public Health England, we carried out a comprehensive audit of cancer screening activity, which resulted in the creation of a service directory. This directory was then developed by SCW's Geographic Information System (GIS) team into an interactive mapping tool.

The mapping tool provided a visually informative way of displaying the screening activities, as well as highlighting relevant geographic issues such as learning disability/ mental health/ age / deprivation rates in an easy-to-interpret visual format.

The outputs of the project were presented at a regional South West Prevention and Early Diagnosis Stakeholder Event on 3rd October 2019.


The team from Public Health England will use this information to target areas in which to carry out cancer screening uptake initiatives to support their prevention agenda.

The creation of the directory enabled them to identify areas of best practice. They could then apply this learning to help other GP practices and cancer screening units to support their local populations through earlier diagnosis and more timely treatment. The addition of the interactive map enabled an increased focus on particular challenges, such as areas of high deprivation, learning disabilities, and mental health.

Positive feedback was received from a range of stakeholders at the October event which included CCG representatives, Macmillan GP’s and wider SW Alliance, and Public Health team members.


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