Meet Jen, one of five local Cancer Screening Coordinators dedicated to improving the uptake of screening appointments

Jen Doyle is one of five local screening coordinators working with people across Cheshire and Merseyside to increase the uptake of screening appointments.

Since starting in post seven months ago, Jen who is based in Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been working across Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley encouraging those eligible to go for breast screening appointments.

Jen’s role is part of a new innovative project to improve screening uptake for breast, bowel and cervical screening. It has been funded by the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance through its NHS Transformation Funding and is led and managed by the Champs Public Health Collaborative, with strategic support from NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England.

Jen currently works with GP practices and community groups across Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley to provide information about breast screening, engage directly with local people to answer their questions and support people throughout their routine screening journey.

Speaking about her role, Jen said:

“Raising awareness about breast screening is something I’m really passionate about. I am committed to encouraging more ladies to come forward for screening and allay any fears that they might have.”

Breast cancer has affected Jen on a personal level, and she has seen the impact a confirmed cancer diagnosis has on those closest to her which could have been avoided through attending routine screening.

She said: “My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She only found out after a car accident when she kept having pains in her shoulder. She should have been screened sooner but said she was so busy with work, she didn’t make time to go.

“Thankfully, she is OK and recuperating well now but the results of going through treatment have unfortunately impacted her daily life. My friend has said ‘if I had just gone for screening when I should have done, I wouldn’t have to go through treatment… I could just kick myself.’

Speaking about her passion for the role and why she applied for the position, Jen explained:

“I love to help and support people and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. I am extremely passionate about this role and feel strongly that women should prioritise their physical and mental health and set a standard for their daughters, granddaughters, and other women to follow by taking preventative measures rather than be reactive when something happens.

“A lot of illnesses can be prevented if action is taken sooner. Of course, it’s down to the individual to take on that responsibility about their own health, but I’ve always wanted to be part of something bigger that creates an impact and makes a difference. I like to be the ‘go to person’ when people need assistance and I’ll help anybody out at the drop of a hat.”

Jen has been working hard throughout the pandemic, using digital tools like social media, to engage with her local community, and is looking forward to having even more conversations in the future. She commented:

“Going forward I want to do more face-to-face engagement including Disability Awareness Day in Warrington, Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and general community engagement including bake sales and coffee afternoon events across Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley. Having face-to-face conversations with women is so important to increase the uptake of screening appointments and to also make that connection with the local community.

“I want to see and hear that more and more women are having positive discussions about breast screening and encouraging each other to attend these important appointments. I want to help and support everybody involved in the screening programmes and create a greater awareness to routine breast screening.”

If you would like to contact Jen to learn more about breast cancer screening or support her work, please telephone 01925 275500 (Internal Ext: 5894) or email: Jennifer.Doyle14@nhs.net

To find out more about Cheshire and Merseyside’s Cancer Screening Improvement Project, please visit: www.champspublichealth.com/cancer-screening