Nurse Sam could win a top award

A nurse from Harborough has been shortlisted for a national honour in this year’s Nursing Times awards.

Sam Screaton is part of a team of three learning disability nurses from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, helping to produce pioneering work on cancer screening.

The group has made a shortlist of eight from a national field of 800 nominations with a project about reducing inequalities in access to cancer screening programmes for people with a learning disability.

Sam explained: “We identified that the uptake of cancer screening programmes in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is lower among people with learning disabilities.

“We found that many of the resources that exist are not suitable to enable people with learning disabilities to make informed choices.”

The nominated project includes the production of two innovative DVDs aimed at people with learning disabilities, one about bowel cancer screening and one about breast cancer screening. They were produced with funding help from the regional cancer network, and followed the production of easy-read guidance on cervical cancer screening.

The team worked closely with Leicester-based film maker Bill Newsinger.

The bowel cancer DVD, produced in autumn last year, is available from libraries across Leicestershire and Rutland, and from learning disability teams. The group has received requests for copies from all over the country.

The new breast-screening DVD explains the whole process from receiving the invitation for screening through to what happens when you attend the appointment.

Sam said: “We worked with service users to plan the DVD, and used an actress to give a clear demonstration of what happens.”

The project was nominated for the Nursing Times award by Rachel Hunt, screening immunisation co-ordinator from Public Health England.

She said: “The resources have wide-reaching relevance and can be used in practice, not just for learning disability nurses, but in all areas of health and social care.”

She predicted that the resources would result in an increased uptake of cancer screening programmes for people with learning disabilities.

Both DVDs are now available at the website

A limited number of hard copies and copies of the bowel cancer screening leaflets are also available from Sam Screaton or Amelia Boulton on 0116 225 5291.