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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20430: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to make it easier for women with learning disabilities to access cervical screening.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 13 December 2018

We are investing up to £5 million from the Cancer Strategy to tackle inequalities in access to screening, including cervical screening. This funding is supporting new activities, sharing of learning from local practice and innovation, to improve uptake of screening programmes, particularly amongst those least likely to participate.

A number of these projects focus specifically on women with learning disabilities and recent examples include:

  • The recruitment and training of Learning Disability Health Champions to raise awareness and understanding of the cancer screening programmes, including cervical.
  • Initiatives to help people with learning disabilities engage with the cervical screening programme through creative learning sessions such as using theatre, focus groups and champions.
  • Working with the Learning Disabilities Service to promote health literacy and to encourage a culture of “Normalisation and Talkability” around cervical screening to ensure that people with learning disabilities have additional support and increased engagement with services.

Officials continue to work closely with Cervical Screening Coordinators from all NHS Boards to develop local level initiatives to improve uptake for all women and to promote cervical screening services by communicating effectively with a range of audiences.