March has come and gone and it’s been a busy one for us at the Health Promotion team for a number of reasons, not least of which is that April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (dun dun dunnnnn) so a lot of preparation is going in to that!
We have trained pharmacists for our Bowel Cancer Awareness Measurement study due to start in April. This study involves local pharmacy staff speaking to their customers to determine their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes to bowel cancer and the screening programme available to them. This will reinforce our knowledge of the awareness about the symptoms and risks of bowel cancer, as well as how likely they are to get tested, which we can drill down to ethnicity, language and locality. Ultimately this would allow us target our interventions and methods specific to each subset of the population, on concerns and barriers which apply to them. This study is the first of this kind on this scale, so we’re quite pumped about the data we get and how we can progress from here!
The Lohri team who are part of the Ramgarhia Sabha community in Southall, had chosen bowel cancer as the cause they would like to fund raise for this year. Their incredible efforts this year have resulted in the impressive sum of £2,351! This money will go toward reaching the more isolated and vulnerable members in our communities, particularly those hindered by language barriers. There are many people situated in North-West London who aren’t made aware of the healthcare services, such as bowel cancer screening, available to them due to these issues.
We’ve also been doing our usual round of community engagement and primary care work, such as Barnet Walking Football Team, and Hillingdon Carers, as well as a number of GP clinics and Patient Participation Groups.
Finally, we’ve uploaded a new video featuring Dr. Siwan Thomas-Gibson, dean of St. Mark’s Academic Institute and consultant gastroenterologist/endoscopist, explaining the importance of bowel cancer screening and the upcoming change to the FIT home-testing kit.
We’re expecting an action-packed April for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, you can keep up with everything we’re doing and the latest on bowel cancer info on our twitter page @stmarksbcsc.