Agenda item

Cancer Screening Behavioural Insights - Kaye Mann (Pac.07.10.2021/8)


Kaye Mann, Public Health Specialist Practitioner, BMBC, was welcomed to the meeting.


Members were reminded that 1 in 2 people get Cancer in their lifetime and that potentially 600 new cancers could be postponed or prevented each year in Barnsley.   Members heard that the leading causes of death from cancer in Barnsley are lung, prostate, and breast cancer.


It was noted that living a healthy life did make cancer less likely, including being smoke free, keeping a healthy weight, and being more active.


Those present heard of the importance of early diagnosis, which led to an improved chance of surviving cancer.  The importance of attending screening was also stressed.  It was noted that screening rates in Barnsley were only slightly lower than the national average,  but that there were still significant numbers of people not undergoing screening.


Attention was drawn to the signs and symptoms of common cancers. The need for residents to have themselves checked if they experienced these symptoms or experienced any changes in their body was stressed.


An overview of behavioural insights and nudge theory was provided, and examples given of where this could be utilised to increase numbers accessing cancer screening.


Members heard of the behaviour science trial being conducted.  Based at the food bank in the Dearne, this would see staff and volunteers speak to clients, and where appropriate offer to refer them to Care Coordinators at GP surgeries.  The Care Coordinators would then be able to proactively book appointments. It was noted that promotion of the trial would commence shortly, and, if successful, elements could be rolled out across the borough.


The meeting heard of the support services available for those recently diagnosed with cancer living in a Barnsley postcode or accessing services at a Barnsley Hospital.


Members were asked to promote healthy lifestyle messages, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage the uptake of screening. This included sharing positive messages on social media.


The message of consulting a GP if something did not feel right was also emphasised.  It was noted that GPs were extremely busy, but it was suggested that awareness could be raised that if residents highlighted that their symptoms may be linked to cancer, this would help prioritise appointments.


Those present discussed the difficulties in securing an appointment with a GP, and it was agreed that these would be fed back to the CCG.  However, it was also stressed that it may be more appropriate for residents to see other health professionals.  It was noted that discussions were taking place regarding provision within the Glassworks to help increase the uptake of screening.


Members suggested engaging Parish Councils on this agenda, which may include information being placed on their noticeboards, websites and in their magazines.


RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation, and that Councillors respond to the asks of them.


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