Update on the RFP for breast and cervical screening support service providers
The National Screening Unit is moving to better coordinate and improve its support services for some groups of women needing health screening.
A specialist evaluation panel is in the process of shortlisting providers to deliver screening support services for priority women, following a Request For Proposal (RFP) at the end of 2015.
BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) and the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) fund screening support services for priority women to attend breast and cervical cancer screening appointments. Priority women include Māori, Pacific (and Asian for NCSP), as well as unscreened and under-screened women.
Screening support services help remove barriers that prevent women from accessing their appointments. These services make a big difference to a small group of women and their whānau, by providing individually-tailored and practical support, such as transport to appointments.
A series of workshops with stakeholders last year, along with a Request For Information, highlighted the importance of continuing these services. However, the feedback received suggested that improvements could be made to the services on offer, and providers could work together more to support women to attend their screening appointments. The National Screening Unit also wants to introduce a results-based approach to contracts for this service.
The RFP resulted in 30 responses. Successful and unsuccessful candidates will be confirmed in June this year. The new contracts will begin on 1 November 2016.
“There’s been progress over the past decade in improving the participation of priority women in breast and cervical screening, but there’s still much work to be done," National Screening Unit Group Manager Astrid Koornneef says.
“Screening support services make a big difference for a small group of women and we’re committed to ensuring the $3.4 million we spend each year on these services is well targeted.”
The overall level of funding for screening support services is not changing as a result of the RFP.
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