National Cervical Screening Programme Sector Update – February 2023
Awesome mahi continues to be done around the motu to keep people on the cervical screening pathway.
Mana Wāhine event – Nelson Marlborough
A Mana Wāhine Day was held Saturday 10 December 2022 with Te Piki Oranga in collaboration with Cervical Screening Regional Services, Nelson Bays PHO, Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Charitable Trust, Sealord and Countdown Stoke, which provided a great experience for each wahine and their whānau that came along to support.
Four cervical screen-takers provided 41 cervical screens and a further three bookings were made for later appointments. The day also provided wider hauora korero across bowel and breast screening, smoking cessation, dietary, counselling, vaccinations, Tamariki Ora, midwifery and social work.
Wāhine were gifted a Kai Christmas Hamper, a $40 voucher, and a free coffee at the coffee cart across the road after. Some feedback from wahine and whānau: Thanks for making it so easy; Kaimahi made you feel at ease. very friendly; Nga mihi, thank you for today and your services and advice; Awesome day this morning to smear my mea. I felt comfortable and it was a straightforward process. E mihi ana; Holistic care of whānau taken, very good mahi most impressed thanks; The advice given was helpful. Lovely kaimahi and wonderful services.
Plans for the first part of 2023 include providing another Mana Wāhine Day in Motueka and collaborating with the nurses at Nelson Tasman Pasifika Trust to support a similar event.
The Southern NCSP team is captured in this pre-Christmas get-together.
Team members (left to right) are: Front row: Glenice Johnston, Milia Tubby and Lizzie Berry; Back row: Livia Hardy, Linda Moir, Sarah Davidson and Vanessa Frew.
Linda Moir retired at the end of January from her 8-year role as the NCSP Southern Team Leader and impressively a 50-year nursing career. We wish Linda all the best, you will be missed.
Ride 4 Talei
As shared in the December Sector Update, the Ride 4 Talei – Smear Your Mea has been in planning and training to take the mauri of Talei from Wellington (2019 Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival) to Auckland for the 2023 National Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival.
Seventeen cyclists, led by Te Ururoa Flavell, will cycle approximately 800 kilometres over seven days from Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland between 14-21 February. They are supported by a 19-strong kaitautoko crew, ensuring their safety, with physio and police escort, bike repairs, laundry and overall wellbeing throughout the ride.
The whole crew will be stopping in at many rohe along the route. You are welcome to come along and support us in any way. All visits and timeframes are being finalised as this goes to print, which the Ride for Talei comms team will share on the SYM FaceBook site in the coming weeks. Thank you to all the providers who have committed their time to lead coordinating their rohe.
There will be a dedicated cervical screen-taking campervan en route stopping in to offer screening, korero and awareness led by Nadine Riwai and Dr Kasey Tawhara.
The campervan will then be taken onto Eden Park where the Tamaki Makaurau crew led by ProCare with NCSP and HPV Study Waitemata, Auckland, National Hauora Coalition, Counties Manukau NCSP – will continue to offer free cervical screening, HPV immunisations, LARC bookings and supported by wider hauora presence with breast, bowel, diabetes and smoking cessation. More details can be found on the Smear Your Mea Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smearyourmea
Profiles of the 17 riders can be viewed there. Here are two:
As the ride won’t cover the entire country this is a great time to leverage off the kaupapa. One awesome example is ScreenSouth who will be holding a “Hikoi for Talei” on Tuesday 14 February.
Contact Olivia Maisey [email protected]
Free Screening Clinics
A number of free screening clinics are planned for February including:
What’s happening in the NCSP
NCSP Parliamentary Review Committee
The Parliamentary Review Committee has completed their report which will be tabled in Parliament soon and will be publicly available. We will provide a link when that is available. Details on the review are available here.
NCSP Advisory and Action Rōpū
The next meeting of the rōpū is scheduled for 23 February. Minutes of previous meetings can be found here.
Support to Screening Services web page
The web page for our SSS teams, supporting the work of both the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) and BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) is available here. Screening support services are available for eligible wāhine/whānau who are referred to, or who independently access services from the support to screening provider. This support can assist wāhine/whānau who experience barriers to accessing breast and cervical screening, assessment, and treatment services. Some support to screening providers have mobile teams who make community visits and home visits, while others are based in clinics around the motu.
Coverage app goes monthly
The NCSP coverage app has been updated and will now be updated monthly here.
Nicki Martin leaves NCSP
NCSP Programme Manager Nicki Martin is stepping down in mid-February after leading the Programme for the last 5 years. Her time in charge of the Programme has seen major milestones achieved -- in particular, securing funding for the Programme change to HPV primary screening that will offer choices to wāhine.
Other successes include achieving substantive additional Government funding for colposcopy early-treatment services and additional Programme funding for Support to Screening Services. The launch of two new social media campaigns for Māori and Pacific has helped the Programme recover from the impact of COVID by reaching out into those very important communities, using the voices of their own whanau. Nicki says that while this was a difficult decision for her to take, she believes the timing was right as the foundations are being put in place for the transition to HPV primary screening -- “Capable hands will be building on the work already done, and I know the sector will offer them the same support, guidance and advice you offered me. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the Programme and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the change.”
What’s happening with the HPV Primary Screening Project
July 2023 remains the target date for the move to HPV primary screening.
Webinar and Resources
We have created a new page on the NSU website with summaries of information from the Goodfellow Unit webinar held in September. The page can be found here and contains:
- A PDF of Dr John McMenamin’s original presentation
- A PDF of questions received from attendees, grouped into relevant sections, and answers provided by our clinical team
- A PDF called Moving to HPV testing for primary cervical screening, which provides more detailed and expanded content than the original presentation, and which the sector can call on as a further resource.
About 1500 health professionals attended the webinar, where we addressed the twin themes of why it is important that people continue to screen between now and the transition to HPV primary screening in July 2023, and the choices that will be available to participants, including self-testing.
A special shout out to the Auckland Waitemata NCSP team for setting up the Goodfellow webinar. It has proven a very successful channel to inform the sector of our key messages.
Educational Video for Health Sector
Prior to Christmas we posted an online video for health sector professionals detailing the move to HPV primary screening.
Based on feedback received, we’re in the process of slightly revising some wording for greater clarity. An update will be provided to let you know when the video is available again.
This will be the first in a series of planned educational and learning tools to be made available in the run up to the transition to HPV testing in July 2023. Keep an eye out for our updates as more resources become available.
Unit Standard Update
Toitū te Waiora with Te Whatu Ora are undertaking a review of Unit Standard 29556, Undertake Cervical Screening. Accreditation of nurses to support cytology procedures as part of follow up and surveillance will continue to be an important part of the new clinical pathway.
Public consultation was undertaken from 16 December to 23 January. We will share the link to the standard when it is available.
Cervical screen-taker update
The NCSP and HPV Primary Screening Project team presented to a Cervical Screening Regional Coordination Stakeholders’ Hui (Canterbury and South Canterbury) in December. Questions and answers arising from that hui can be viewed here https://www.nsu.govt.nz/system/files/page/screensouth_stakeholder_hui_qas_dec_2022_1.pdf
Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines
The Updated NCSP Clinical Practice Guidelines are currently being finalised and edited before being published. On the guidelines.
NCSP Policies and Standards
Work is progressing on the NCSP Laboratory and Colposcopy Policies and Standards, with feedback from the Working Groups collated and reviewed. They will now be edited before being published.
New HPV Primary Screening Resources
The NCSP has contracted the design agency Big River Creative to develop the public-facing resources for the new HPV primary screening programme. Big River Creative is a 100% Māori-owned, Māori and Pacific-led creative agency. It specialises in cultural graphic design and infographics to create mana-enhancing and culturally-responsive resources with a Te Tiriti o Waitangi focus that will resonate with priority audiences.
Signing of agreements concluded in December for the process to procure national laboratory services. The Labs RFP announcement is available on the NSU website at https://www.nsu.govt.nz/news/ncsp-hpv-primary-screening-labs-rfp-update
The World Health Organization (WHO) published an updated position paper on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in 2022. WHO issues a series of regularly-updated position papers on vaccines and combinations of vaccines against diseases that have an international public health impact. These papers are concerned primarily with the use of vaccines in large-scale vaccination programmes.
The position paper can be found here.
HPV immunisation is primarily offered as part of the school-based immunisation programme in year 7 and 8. It is free for everyone aged 9 to 26 years, including non-residents under the age of 18 years.
Just before Christmas 2022, data was published on the Ministry of Health website showing HPV immunisation coverage to 30 September 2022 for the 2004-2008 birth cohort. It can be viewed here.
Immunisation leaflet available
An updated leaflet is available on HealthEd promoting HPV vaccinations. Entitled Immunise against HPV (human papillomavirus) – English version – HE2012 – HealthEd, it can be found here.
Answers to Your Questions
We are receiving regular feedback and questions to [email protected]. More information is available on the website here: Frequently asked questions | National Screening Unit (nsu.govt.nz).
Answers to many clinical questions raised at the Goodfellow Unit webinar can be found in the link provided earlier in this newsletter.
Staying in Touch
If you have colleagues who would also like to receive this monthly update, they can join the distribution list by emailing us at [email protected]
We really appreciate your feedback and are here to answer any questions you may have.
Noho ora mai