16 August 2019
A group of staff at the Trust that runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals has overhauled an NHS Screening Timeline for their patients, and now the resource has been rolled out nationally by Public Health England.
Managers for six screening programmes at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, put their heads together after realising information about screening for patients in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin needed to improve. With the help of SaTH’s Graphic Designer, Sam Parker, they devised a timeline that runs from conception up to age of 70 and illustrates the screening services that are available to people throughout their lives – improving awareness and access for the local community.
Public Health England Screening was so impressed with the timeline that it adapted it into a double-sided resource and have made it available nationally so that others can benefit. Healthcare professionals around the country can now add in details of local screening programmes and give their patients an explanation of population screening, a definition of personal choice and signpost to more resources.
Jess Smith, SaTH’s Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Coordinator, said: “It was fantastic that all of SaTH’s Programme Managers were so keen to work together to improve awareness for our patients. We also received great support from Public Health England Screening and Immunisation Co-ordinators and local council representatives.
“The end result of the group’s work is a simple timeline that makes it clear what screening programmes will be offered to people and when. The resource also includes information and contact details for local screening services, which we hope will help make our services more accessible and tackle local health inequalities.”
Andrew James, Diabetic Eye Screening Programme Manager, said: “The common goal we all share in screening is to identify disease and provide access to treatment for our patients. With so many health concerns being publicly promoted, the screening leads at SaTH felt we had to do something to help signpost all patients to the amazing services we offer, and so the local treatment timeline idea was born!”
Screening is the process of identifying healthy people who may have an increased chance of a disease or condition. It can be helpful to think of screening like a sieve. The sieve represents the screening test and most people pass through it. This means they have a low chance of having the condition screened for. The people left in the sieve have a higher chance of having the condition. The screening provider can then offer them information, further tests or treatment as appropriate.