In September 2011, NHS Lanarkshire began sending out bright pink, eye-catching envelopes as part of their ‘Amnesty Smear’ campaign. The message inside however was very simple “A cervical cancer screening could save your life”.
These invitations were sent to women who had either never been for a screening, or had a significant gap in time since their last screening.
Within a year the scheme encouraged 126 women to visit their local clinic, some of which who had not attended for up to 30 years.
This unique approach has earned recognition from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust as it was awarded second place at the charity’s annual awards, and took the crown as the first health board in Scotland to receive the accolade.
Robert Music, the director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said “We are delighted to see a Scottish health board take this award for the first time and we hope this encourages others”.
He continues “Providing a comfortable environment for people to talk about screenings at a time that suits them can clearly make a difference…We hope that campaigns like this can get people to understand that the cervical screening test is a simple five minute procedure that could potentially save their life.”