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Nurses boost health screening rates by using Facebook to promote prevention services

Practice staff are harnessing social media to widen uptake and reduce anxiety
woman stands by window reading her phone

Practice staff are harnessing social media to widen uptake and reduce anxiety

Practice nurses are among hundreds of healthcare staff in England being trained to use social media to promote screening services.

The scheme follows the success of a Facebook page set up by North Midlands Breast Screening Service in Staffordshire that boosted first-time attendance by 12.9%.

A place where the public can get screening information, ask questions and book tests

Staff use the page to offer information designed to reduce anxiety about breast examinations. It allows women to book appointments and ask questions via Facebook Messenger. They post information about screening on online community groups.

Practice staff are harnessing social media to widen uptake and reduce anxiety


Picture: iStock

Practice nurses are among hundreds of healthcare staff in England being trained to use social media to promote screening services.

The scheme follows the success of a Facebook page set up by North Midlands Breast Screening Service in Staffordshire that boosted first-time attendance by 12.9%. 

A place where the public can get screening information, ask questions and book tests

Staff use the page to offer information designed to reduce anxiety about breast examinations. It allows women to book appointments and ask questions via Facebook Messenger. They post information about screening on online community groups.

The same techniques are now being used elsewhere to encourage people to go for other cancer screening tests too as part of NHS Digital’s three-year Widening Digital Participation programme.

Around 350 practice nurses and other practice staff have so far been trained in harnessing the technology, including the team at North Preston Medical Centre in Lancashire, which achieved a 25% increase in cervical screening after running a Facebook campaign.


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