A CAMPAIGN to increase uptake of life-saving cervical screening on Teesside has been honoured with an award from a national charity.

Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland’s Joint Public Health Service have been commended by Jo’s Trust for their work so far in getting more women to access screening.

The Cervical Screening Saves Lives campaign was originally launched in Middlesbrough due to screening uptake being below the national average.

A number of initiatives were developed including working with targeted community groups, introducing publicity materials, making GP practices and sexual health clinics “No Fear” spaces, staff screening at James Cook University Hospital and the Salons for Screening initiative.

Across South Tees, a vast range of community venues are engaged to promote the key messages including more than 90 salons, proactively promoting screening.  There are currently 13 GP practices signed up as No Fear practices with a roll out to all practices across the area planned this year. 

An initial evaluation showed that the original No Fear practices had all increased their uptake of screening in the first six months of the campaign.

As a result of the work Rob Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, visited some of the team involved at the Live Well Centre in Middlesbrough to present an award stating that Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Councils had been highly commended.

He said: “We are delighted to hand over this award. It is a really impressive piece of work and we are already seeing some of the positive results in terms of encouraging women to go for cervical screening.

“Ultimately this will save lives.”

Cllr Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Everyone involved should be really proud of what has been achieved but we wouldn’t want anyone to think that because we have received this award we are going to be complacent – quite the opposite.

“There is a determination to continue this good work and make sure all women attend screening appointments.”