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More please: praise for PHE screening inequalities conference

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There is a big demand for more virtual national shared learning events judging by your feedback to the PHE Screening Inequalities Conference.

More than 800 of you logged on to the conference on 5 February which focused on tackling screening inequalities for people with learning disabilities. The event was recorded, so you can still catch up on all the presentations, video clips and question and answer sessions if you missed out on the day.

Nearly 300 of you completed the survey we sent out to attendees after the conference. 97% rated the whole event ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and each individual presentation was rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’ by at least 90% of respondents.

There was particular praise (examples below) for the video clips of people with learning disabilities talking about screening, the keynote speech by Baroness Sheila Hollins and the demonstration of the NHS Digital Reasonable Adjustment Flag national record system.

The video clips from people’s lived experiences of screening really brought the discussions to life and kept it grounded in why reducing inequalities matters.

Baroness Sheila Hollins – heart warming, gentle, delivered with feeling and purpose. Very powerful message delivered fantastically.

Sharing reasonable adjustments across the NHS…. is long overdue. I’ve worked in screening for 30+ years and the request for an IT solution first came to my attention 20+ years ago, so to hear and see the work that NHS digital has undertaken to date was very exciting.

Virtual perfection?

A few of you encountered IT problems accessing some or all of the event on the day. And several respondents missed the networking and audience participation opportunities you get at a face-to-face conference.

However, most of you preferred the virtual experience, particularly as it meant many more of you could attend and without the challenges and expense of booking travel and time away from your desks.

I think when things get back to normal conferences should remain virtual – it gives everyone a chance to attend without worrying about travel costs and travelling time.

Best virtual conference I’ve been too.

I thought it was a great experience. I never thought I would prefer this option over a ‘real’ conference but being able to interact via the chat was far better than open Q&A sessions which can be intimidating or can end up being a ‘one person show’ when someone monopolizes these sections.

Constructive feedback for future events

Your responses included a host of helpful suggestions that will help us when planning future national events.

Many of you told us you would have liked the conference to feature more case studies from the non-cancer programmes, particularly antenatal and newborn screening.

Several of you would have liked the conference to have been more interactive. Suggestions included the use of virtual breakout rooms, more use of Mentimeter questions and longer Q&A panel sessions.

Overall, there was a big demand for us to hold more national events in future, but focusing on other aspects of inequality, such as deprivation and ethnicity.

What you took away from the conference

The conference clearly sparked your enthusiasm.

Many of you said you would be reviewing local processes, championing learning disability inequalities more and sharing information and resources following the event.

There was particular enthusiasm for making full use of the reasonable adjustments flag, demonstrated by NHS Digital’s Steve Robinson, once it is available to use in screening IT systems.

More than half of the local screening providers who responded to our Menti question on the day said they would use the system whenever inviting people to screening. And most of the remainder said they would do so at least once every screening clinic.

You also told us via Menti that the PHE Screening blog is the way most of you find out about developments in the NHS screening programmes.

That is sure to continue because the conference led to another surge in new blog subscribers. We have now topped the 30,000 mark!

...and finally

There were also the following 2 light-hearted suggestions, the second from a big fan of PHE Director of Screening Professor Anne Mackie’s pets, Rosie the cat and Raya the dog, who made brief appearances on the day.

Better refreshments 😉

On a less serious note, can we see more of Anne’s dog and cat? 🙂

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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