Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: Guest Blog

Helping women with learning disabilities affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is a UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. We have recently launched a new project to increase the uptake of cervical screening (the smear test) across Glasgow. One of our key aims is to reduce screening inequalities by targeting women with the lowest attendance. We hope to achieve this by promoting awareness of cervical cancer and its prevention as well as working at a GP level to remove barriers to screening.

Unfortunately, women with learning disabilities have very low cervical screening attendance. In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, only 25% of women with a learning disability attend screening compared to 70% of the general population. Women with learning disabilities face complex barriers to screening, from assumptions made about their sexual activity to a lack of understanding and fear. Cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing, and we believe that women with learning disabilities should have the information and support they need to make up their mind about attending.

As part of this project in 2018, we will be offering a half day Community Connector training sessions to frontline staff and team leaders who support women with learning disabilities in Glasgow. This training will include:

  • understanding of cervical cancer and what causes it
  • understanding of barriers to screening women with a learning disability face
  • approaches to support women with learning disabilities to attend screening if they choose to do so
  • free easy read resources for those attending to use in practice

If you would be interested in attending training in the future and would like your team to become Community Connectors, please contact rhiann@jostrust.org.uk 

Blog written by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.