National Cervical Screening Programme Sector Update – October 2022

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 14:50

Kia ora koutou

What’s happening in the NCSP

Cervical Screening Awareness Month

Roadside billboard promoting Cervical Screening Awareness Month. There have been a few great initiatives happening around the motu in NCSP. Here we share a few. Screensouth made use of digital billboard advertising which was displayed at the east side of Christchurch.

In Taranaki, Tui Ora joined up with Waitara Health and held a clinic where 30 women had cervical screens. In total, Tui Ora supported 56 screens over two clinics and attracted media attention. This featured in the Taranaki daily news article on Stuff.

See: Taranaki daily news article on Stuff.

In Ashburton, Mana Wāhine Clinics were held including transport to attend, and staff keeping the whānau and mokopuna entertained was all part of the whānau-centric service. One wahine went along for both her routine cervical screening and her first mammogram screening. She said it was a milestone for her, so it was very important that she dressed up in her favourite outfit for the occasion!

Pacific Cervical Screening Campaign

Screeners checking out the material at the Pacific cervical screening campaign launch event. Following the successful Māori social marketing campaign, the Pacific campaign is gearing up to promote a safe return to cervical screening for Pacific people and their families after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

On 14 September, the Pacific cervical screening campaign hosted a soft launch event at PIC Ōtara, Auckland. The aim of this event was to share the first round of creative assets with the sector and bolster the reach of the messages by gaining the support of Pacific community leaders and raising awareness across priority groups. A recording of the event can be viewed on Google Drive.

Creative agency Bright Sunday is working on a “lite pack” of the existing collateral to circulate to the sector for your own usage. Over the next few weeks, the Pacific campaign will roll out across the Te Whatu Ora social channels, and assets will be published on the National Screening Unit website.

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 at NCSP Review.

NCSP Advisory and Action Group

The National Cervical Screening Programme Advisory and Action Rōpū webpage is now live and can be found at NCSP Advisory and Action Rōpū. This includes a brief description of the rōpū’s kaupapa, member descriptions, and summary minutes and actions from each hui.

NHI Numbers on Laboratory Request Forms

Some requests for cytology are arriving at laboratories without an NHI number and this means that the result cannot be recorded on the NCSP Register. NHI numbers can be obtained by primary healthcare by phoning the NHI administration section of the Ministry of Health (0800 855 151). Everyone is entitled to an NHI number regardless of their immigration status. Providing an NHI number is mandatory on laboratory request forms.

New Support to Screening Services Web Page

A new web page has been created for our SSS teams, supporting the work of both the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) and BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA).

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.

SSS services, their location and contact details are available at Screening Support Services.

Upcoming Study Days

The Otago Colposcopy Team is holding a Lead Colposcopy Nurse Study Day on Friday 28 October from 9am to 3.45pm at the Octagonal Room, Dunedin Hospital 1st Floor. For more information please contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

The Southern Cancer Nurses’ Group is presenting Taking Care of Your Lady Business, a Women’s Health Cancer Study Day that is open to all health professionals, on Saturday 29 October from 9am to 3.45 at the Colquhoun Lecture Theatre, Dunedin Hospital. For more information please contact: [email protected]

What’s happening with the HPV Primary Screening Project

July 2023 remains the target date for the move to HPV Primary Screening.

Key Messages

We have had feedback that a statement in our September Sector Update, regarding the comparison between HPV and cytology testing, was confusing. The intent of the wording was to emphasise that the two tests (HPV Primary Screening and cytology), test for different things -- a virus compared to cell change. To clarify, some key messages are:

  • HPV testing is a better test for primary cervical screening
  • It will find more pre-cancers and prevent more cases of cervical cancer. That is why we are transitioning to HPV Primary Screening in July 2023
  • The test does not need a speculum exam and can be self-taken
  • Cytology (looking at cells from the cervix) will still have an important role in determining whether the HPV virus has already caused cellular abnormalities
  • Participants should not delay screening until HPV Primary Screening is available next year

National Goodfellow Unit Webinar

Cervical screening and the options for participants when we transition to HPV Primary Screening were given prime viewing to a national audience via a very successful Goodfellow Unit webinar. Nearly 1500 registrations were received for the webinar, of whom nearly 900 were a live audience from all walks of the health sector, with the others replaying the webinar in their own time.

The NCSP 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 choices that will be available to participants then, including self-testing.

The presentation was led by Dr John McMenamin, Primary Care Lead for the National Screening Unit and can be viewed at the Goodfellow Unit website.

Register Development

In order to build a user-friendly solution that supports clinical safety and equitable outcomes, the Project Team is developing an end-to-end view of the screening pathway using the different scenarios from a participant journey. The detailed planning exercise will include opportunities for input and feedback as they progress.  

Sector Working Groups

The latest meetings of the Sector Working Groups have focused on several key topics for the Implementation Phase of the Project. A major topic discussed was the new Register and how sector feedback will inform its development.

The Screen Takers, Kaimanaaki and Register Working Groups also heard about the types of operational reports that are being developed for HPV Primary Screening. The knowledge and input of the groups will be sought in defining 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 newly edited Draft NCSP Clinical Practice Guidelines for Cervical Screening have now been shared with the Working Groups and feedback received on their readability and clarity. That feedback will be used to finalise the Guidelines and they will now be submitted to the NCSP Advisory and Action Group for kōrero in November.

New HPV Primary Screening Resources

Procurement for the development of the public-facing resources needed for HPV Primary Screening is now underway.

The procurement panel evaluating this process includes the Māori Campaign Advisory Group Chair and Pacific Campaign Advisory Group Chair, as well as representation from the Rainbow community and people with disabilities, to ensure the successful provider has the right capabilities to deliver on this project and meet the needs of our priority groups.

The successful provider will utilise partnerships within communities to establish focus groups with the right voices to guide the mahi and develop resources that will work and resonate with these communities. We will keep the sector updated as this work progresses.

Laboratory Update

 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.

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

Page last updated: 05 October 2022