National Cervical Screening Programme Sector Update – November 2022
Kia ora koutou
What’s happening in the NCSP
There has been great mahi happening in the sector over the past month, to encourage more participation in cervical screening. This is particularly important for us as we look to recover from the lockdowns and isolations which caused people to miss screening opportunities during COVID, and priority groups in particular. Below, we highlight two great events that were organised in the community for cervical screening during recent weeks.
Mana Wāhine event
Te Piki Oranga Māori Wellness Services with the support of many other organisations organised a one-day event in Whakatū (Nelson) called ‘Mana Wāhine’. Over 350 wāhine Māori in Te Tauihu are either due or overdue for their screen check, and the aim was to provide a safe and comfortable space for wāhine to get their cervical screening and ensure any other health concerns were also met.
This ‘by wāhine for wāhine’ event successfully supported 40 wāhine to get their screen check on the day, with 11 booked for another time. Over 80% were Māori.
Conversations about other health concerns also led to multiple referrals to Breast Screening, Endoscopy, Healthy Homes, B4 School checks for their tamariki, navigation support for Oranga Tamariki, Quit Smoking and many other services. Dr Ricki-lea, Māori GP from Mapua Health, also attended the day to answer any concerns pertaining to the cervical screen or other issues.
Transportation was provided, as some people travelled from Te Hora Pā, Motueka and Brightwater to attend this event. Each wāhine was also gifted vouchers and a generous kai pack upon leaving. The uptake and feedback from those who attended the day were all positive and planning is underway for the next Mana Wāhine event in December.
Special thanks to Nelson Bays Primary Health, Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Charitable Trust, Cancer Society Nelson, Sealord and Te Whatu Ora ‐ Nelson Marlborough for their contributions to making this event a success.
The ‘Smear Your Mea’ kaupapa hosted by Korowai Aroha Health Clinic, Rotorua. Nurses pictured are Sonia Lewis, Kath Holmes, Geoff Ruaine.
NCSP Parliamentary Review Committee
The Parliamentary Review Committee has completed their report which will be tabled in Parliament soon and will be publicly available. Details on the review are available here.
NCSP Advisory and Action Rōpū
The rōpū had a successful hui on 22 September, the minutes of which will be available here following the approval at their next hui. The rōpū will meet again virtually on 3 November.
New Support to Screening Services web page
The new web page created 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. The BreastScreen Aotearoa interactive coverage data tool has also been updated to include a breakdown by lead provider and will now be updated monthly here.
HPV vaccine campaign underway
The Cancer Society has launched a campaign to raise public awareness and encourage uptake of free HPV vaccine, especially if missed at school or if they didn’t receive the full schedule. The target audience is principally parents/caregivers of Year 8 children (all genders), as parents play a pivotal role in ensuring vaccine uptake and their consent is required. Secondary target group is rangatahi (the younger generation) themselves. Health promoters and community advocates are encouraged to kōrero about HPV vaccine with their community and share messages on social media.
A toolkit for health promoters can be found at www.cancer.org.nz/hpv-toolkit with new awareness website content at www.cancer.org.nz/hpv-awareness (written for 12+ age level). There is also a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16BWvNn-dk0&ab_channel=TheCancerSocietyofNewZealand
What’s happening with the HPV Primary Screening Project
July 2023 remains the target date for the move to HPV primary screening.
National Goodfellow Unit Webinar
We received nearly 100 comments and questions from the 1500 or so health professionals who attended the Goodfellow Unit webinar in September, 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. We are preparing answers to those questions and will put them on the NSU website soon. The presentation was led by Dr John McMenamin, Primary Care Lead for the National Screening Unit and can be viewed at https://www.goodfellowunit.org/node/1117705
A special shout out too 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.
Dr John McMenamin’s comments on the transition to HPV Primary Screening Primary Screening also featured in the lead story in the September issue of GP Pulse, the online magazine for 5000 members of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and other primary healthcare professionals. The article can be found here.
Sector Working Groups
The Colposcopy and Register Working Groups have been asked for their feedback about the types of operational reports that are being developed for HPV primary screening. Their feedback will define what reporting is needed to support clinical safety and service delivery and how the new reporting types should be shaped for the transition to HPV primary screening.
Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines
The updated Draft NCSP Clinical Practice Guidelines for Cervical Screening have now been shared with the Working Groups and feedback received on their readability and clarity. They will be submitted to the NCSP Advisory and Action Group for kōrero before publication.
NCSP Policies and Standards
Work is progressing on the NCSP Policies and Standards, with particular focus on the sections dealing with cervical screening services and providing a colposcopy service. Feedback from the Working Groups is being collated and reviewed before submitted to the NCSP Advisory and Action Group for korero before publication.
New HPV Primary Screening Resources
The NCSP is progressing work to develop the new public-facing resources that are culturally-engaging and inclusive. This work will be undertaken by a provider with strong community links supported the Chairs of the Māori and Pacific Campaign & Resources Advisory Groups, as well as representatives of the LGBTQIA+ and disabled communities.
An announcement will be made soon on the outcome of negotiations to procure national laboratory services. Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand will not be commenting until negotiations have been successfully concluded.
Answers to Your Questions
We are receiving regular feedback and questions to [email protected]. The FAQs are updated regularly.
More information is available on the website here: Frequently asked questions (nsu.govt.nz).
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