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Write on! Celebrating 600 screening posts

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: General information
Finger pointing at a happy face to show overall satisfaction
Overall, respondents told us they were happy with the screening blog

You may remember some months ago we carried out a screening blog survey.

Online surveys are a great opportunity for our readers to tell us honestly what they think of the blog and how it could be improved. I'm pleased to say we had a great response, with more than 180 people feeding back to us.

In this – our 600th blog – we share the top lines of our survey and what we plan to do next.

What you told us

Cartoon image shows 3 people and above them the words in a speech bubble saying Useful blog but here's what you could do better.
We're pleased with the overall results but there are several actions for us as well

We’re eager for our blog articles to be user friendly and engaging, while also conveying important – and sometimes serious – messages. But do we achieve this?

There were 10 questions covering different aspects of our blog in the survey – plus lots of opportunities for people to give us their general feedback.

Blog by numbers

There was overwhelming positive feedback about the usefulness of blog. We found that:

  • 80% of respondents find our articles ‘useful for practice’
  • 87% think the topics we choose to write about are either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’
  • 82% rated the writing style ‘excellent’ or ‘good'

In total, 24% of respondents rated the blog as ‘excellent’ and 65% as ‘good’ (basically, 89% of people giving it the thumbs up).

We were pleased with these results because the chief reason we run the blog is to pass on important information to people who work in commissioning and providing screening services.

It's reassuring to know that so many people think the writing style is pitched about right. After all, it's no good publishing articles that nobody understands.

Speaking out

Several respondents used the general feedback sections to reinforce the message that they'd like to see category based subscriptions for our blogs introduced as soon as possible.

As many of you will be aware, when you sign up for the PHE Screening blog you get emails to tell you when EVERY new blog is published. Some of you would prefer to be able to select only the blogs that are most relevant so you do not get emails about screening programmes you’re not interested in.

I think you should offer the option to only subscribe to the screening programmes or topics relevant to individuals. It's tiresome getting lots of emails from this blog that are not pertinent to my area.

Another wanted to hear more about the views of budding writers across screening and to see us support them in writing screening blogs.

I'd like to see more support offered to providers to write blogs about what's important to them and what has worked well.

When we asked what would encourage our readers to read more articles, quite a few people wanted us to look at the appearance of our blogs. The following response came up a few times:

I'd like to see more images, more video/audio and more authors from outside Public Health England.

Making things better

When we asked ‘what one thing could we do to encourage people to read more blogs’, 34% (the largest amount) singled out the ability to select only the articles relevant to their work when subscribing to the blog.

One person told us:

Basically, I only want to see blogs relevant to my screening programme.

This is something that is out of our hands but we've been discussing the issue with the Government Digital Service (which runs the blog website) over several months and will hopefully have some good news on this front very soon. We promise to keep you posted!

Since the survey was carried out we've also been working extra hard to improve the look of the blogs we produce and making sure we try to use eye-catching images, photos and video whenever we can.

We've also made efforts to feature blogs from people outside of PHE. Recent examples include a post by the Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and a director of vision research writing about a new e-learning training package for vision screeners.

screen grab shows a section of a page on GOV.UK where you subscribe to our screening blog. It includes a box to put your email address in.
To sign up for our screening blog, click on the email link under the ‘Sign up for updates’ heading in the right hand column on the webpage – there is currently no way to choose by category

Print out our new blog poster

Even if you're a seasoned user of our blogs, there's probably some features you might have forgotten about.

If that's the case, then don't fret. To mark our 600th blog we've produced a colourful A4 blog tips poster for you to print out and pin up on your office noticeboard.

It includes useful information including:

  • how to use the search
  • how you find links to other useful screening information
  • how you can select a category to view all the articles relating to a screening programme
  • other handy reminders

We already have 6,600 subscribers to our blog – please help us to get even more.

How you can help

We had a few comments about the subject matter for the blogs. While there are lots of things we have to publish, there is also plenty of scope for great human-interest stories that take us behind the scenes of screening.

So, if you have any ideas or would like to have a go at writing a guest blog please contact in the first instance. Do get in touch.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

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