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Short film aims to reduce barriers to AAA screening attendance for men with learning disabilities

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme
Screen shot of 'AAA screening explained', the video developed by the Dorset and Wiltshire AAA Screening Service. The screen shot features a smiling nurse and the face of an older male patient in profile
The new video developed by the Dorset and Wiltshire AAA Screening Service

We know people with learning disabilities can find it more difficult to access screening due to a lack of awareness and understanding.

We – the Dorset and Wiltshire Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Service – met up with a learning disability team in Poole, Dorset, to:

  • make sure it was aware of AAA screening
  • find out what support people might need before and during appointments

It quickly became clear that a short film about AAA screening would be a really useful resource for eligible men with learning disabilities, so we decided to put one together.

We decided to maximise its benefits by aiming it not just at people with learning disabilities but at anyone who might not understand AAA screening, feel nervous about it or be considering self-referring for screening.

Making and publicising the film

We worked with the communications team at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to put the film together and one of our patient representatives was happy to ‘star’ in the film as a man attending his screening appointment.

We checked the content with the national programme team before publishing it and the video, now available on YouTube, explains what happens at an AAA screening appointment.

A shortened 30-second version of the film is also available.

Following the film’s launch, the Poole learning disability teams has included a link to it in its newsletter which goes out to 500 recipients, including learning disability service providers, colleagues, carers, advocates and friends.

We will be publicising the film in the same way with learning disability teams in Wiltshire and contacting GP practices to ask if they can show the film in waiting rooms.

A link to the film has been added to a flyer going out with our standard screening invitations, it is being featured on our intranet and Twitter page and has been added to the national guidance for AAA screening providers and commissioners on reducing inequalities.

We hope the film will have a positive impact on the ability of men with learning disabilities to access screening and plan to evaluate how successful it has been.

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  1. Comment by Ingrid Fuchs posted on

    This is a good short film about AAA screening, but if the aim is to try to increase the uptake under men with LD, it would have been better to feature somebody with LD. That would have had a much bigger effect under the LD population.


    • Replies to Ingrid Fuchs>

      Comment by Andrew Anderson posted on

      Dear Ingrid
      Many thanks for your comment and I’m really pleased that you enjoyed our short film.
      In the first instance, the aim was a video specifically for people with learning disabilities, however we then widened the scope of it so we could use it in GP surgeries and within our own information to share with everyone invited for AAA screening.
      We’ve had some great feedback from local learning disabilities teams so far, but we will certainly take your thoughts on board for future resources.
      Best wishes

  2. Comment by Irene Stratton posted on

    Why not just add the link to all AAA invitation letters? There must be many men who don't understand what's involved - not just those with learning disabilities.

    I've long been puzzled as to why the many You Tube videos on diabetic eye screening aren't put onto the NDESP letters - there's "Danny's story",,
    one from Birmingham screening programme, one from Norfolk and Norwich and one from Berkshire that show a screening encounter...... I can find the links if you'd like them.

    • Replies to Irene Stratton>

      Comment by Andrew Anderson posted on

      Hello Irene
      Thanks for your comment, it’s a good idea and something we’ll look at as part of the move to more digital screening information.
      Best wishes