Health care assistant Lisa Tomlinson has recently been given the lead in health promotion in the main outpatients department at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Every month Lisa will be focusing on promoting a specific area of health, and this month she has chosen an area very personal to her, cervical cancer prevention.
Lisa, a cervical cancer survivor was given the all clear nine years ago and has spent her time since then campaigning to lower the cervical cancer screening age and raising money for the Butterwick Hospice.
Lisa said ‘’January saw cervical cancer prevention week, so I decided to focus my first health promotion project on this. I created a display board and table in main outpatients with posters and information for people to read and take away.
‘’I have been working closely with charities Jo’s Trust, Cancer Research UK and Eve Appeal to create a cervical screening health promotion pack. The pack contains very useful brochures and information highlighting the importance of cervical screening and recognising the signs of cervical cancer.
‘‘The packs are going to be given to women who are coming in for gynaecological procedures, and hopefully this will encourage them to attend their cervical screening appointments.’’
Consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology Mary George said ‘’I support Lisa fully, she is the right person for this role, she has been through a lot and understands how important it is to raise awareness.
‘’I have been carrying out research in the local area to find out which places have the highest cervical cancer rates and would like to go out into the community and look into this further. It may be that people are not receiving enough information on the risks of not attending screening appointments or people need more education on identifying signs and symptoms of cervical cancer.
‘’With the help of Lisa I think this will be possible and will hopefully result in alerting people to the seriousness of cervical cancer and how attending regular screening appointments can in many cases save a person’s life.’’
Last year Lisa took ill which resulted in emergency surgery, she said ‘’I am so thankful for the care I received and the support from both staff and colleagues.
‘’I haven’t been in the best of health which is why health promotion means so much to me, it’s a chance for me to give something back. I’m happy and honoured to be asked to fulfil this role within the department and reflecting on my personal experiences I plan to develop it as best I can’’.