Picton Neighbourhood: Women’s Health Awareness Event

OVER 230 people attended the event organised by Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group on Tuesday 19th January at the Pakistani Centre in Liverpool 8. The Event was for local Women from the Picton and Kensington Neighbourhoods, many from the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) community. The aim was to raise awareness of the importance of attending for regular cancer screening (Bowel, Breast and Cervical) and to explain how early detection can save lives. The agenda covered the following:
  1. Opening and introductions – Rahima Farah (Social Inclusion Team LCH)
  2. Breast Cancer Awareness – Tina Davies-Taylor (LCH)
  3. Cervical Cancer Awareness – Maggi Williams (WHISC)
  4. Bowel Cancer Awareness – Jill Ollerton (LCH)
  5. Liverpool Healthy Lung Programme – Dr Katy Gardner & Michelle Timoney (Liverpool CCG)
  6. Importance of screening and early detection – Dr Nazia Mohammed (Abercromby Family Practice & Picton Neighbourhood Lead)
  7. Questions – Dr Nazia Mohammed (Abercromby Family Practice & Picton Neighbourhood Lead)
The health-related stalls at the event were:
  • Social Inclusion Team
  • Be clear on cancer / Bowel Cancer
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Fagends
  • Examine your options
  • Princess Park Health Centre
  • Health Watch
There were also stalls doing Henna and others promoting health, skin and beauty products for women. Food was provided by a local company based on Lodge Lane (Marleys Bar and Grill) who coincidently have been looking for ways of getting involved in health promotion in the community. They have offered the use of their venue to support events for the community and would like to get involved in some of the wider neighbourhood work that is taking place. The entire event brought together a range of local organisations with one aim – to improve the health of our community and reduce unnecessary deaths from cancer through regular screening and early detection. During the event there was an opportunity for questions. The following concerns and fears were highlighted as barriers to screening:
  • Privacy of the procedures (will it be a female doctor)
  • Pain (will it hurt) this was raised numerous times
  • Embarrassment was raised on numerous occasions as being a big barrier
  • In relation to Cervical screening – is it necessary if I am a virgin?
  • In relation to Cervical screening – is it necessary if I have had only one partner?
  • People also asked about prevention – HPV Vaccine, living healthier lifestyles, not smoking etc…
The women were very interested in the presentations and were very forthcoming with their concerns and questions. Many admitted to not having attended their screening due to some of the reasons above. This event was a step in the right direction to raising the importance of screening and early detection and to addressing some of the barriers to screening. This event and the awareness it has created will be the foundation for ongoing work in the neighbourhood around promotion and encouraging the uptake of Bowel, Breast and Cervical Screening. Below is a snapshot from one of the evaluation forms:
Womens Health Awareness evaluation
Information I gained at this event: “The importance of early diagnosis and to pass on what I have learned to my friends and family”.
If this is the message that everyone took home, then the organisers can consider the event a great success.