A health screening team visited the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in Barnsley to talk to staff about the importance of attending health screening invites.

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw screening team visited the DWP offices earlier this month and held workshops throughout the day. They talked to staff about four different screening programmes – Cervical, Breast, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and Diabetic Eye Screening to highlight the importance of attending screening appointments to ensure any problems are caught early on.

Often people are put off attending screening appointments as they don’t know what to expect. It’s the fear of the unknown, but when people are given more information on what happens during a test it can allay anxieties.

Neil Ratcliffe, Workgroup Manager for Department for Work and Pensions said: “Our staff found the sessions really informative and left feeling empowered to speak to their health professionals about any concerns they may have now or in the future and also the information and advice they were given will hopefully encourage them to attend their screening appointments.”

Judith Clark, Programme Manager from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, spoke to DWP staff about the importance of attending breast screening invites. Judith said: “Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early through a mammogram which can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.  As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged 50 to 70 and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every three years”.

Judith also highlighted the importance of breast self-examinations, saying: “It’s vital women carry out a monthly breast self-examination. The key is to understand what is normal for you. If you notice that your breasts look or feel different, please don’t wait to be offered screening – see your GP. With one in eight women in the UK diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it’s so important to be breast aware and attend screening appointments.  The day was such a success. DWP have invited us back again in December.”

If you have missed your breast screening appointment or would like more information on the breast screening process, please call Barnsley Breast Screening Unit on tel: 01226 432103.