Organise an outreach clinic
This activity is suggested to be run alongside an education session so that women can be encouraged to go for a Cervical Screening Test.
Note: Outreach clinics are usually held periodically through partnering with other service providers.
WATCH: Improving access to cervical screening through outreach clinics
CASE STUDY: Women’s health outreach clinics at La Perouse Community Health Centre and Menai Community Health Centre
The Women’s Health Program at South Eastern Sydney LHD established women’s health outreach clinics at La Perouse Aboriginal Community Health Centre and Menai Community Health Centre. The clinics were established in response to requests from community workers to provide services in safe and trusted locations.
The clinics operate alongside existing trusted Aboriginal maternal and child health services. Engagement with the women in the La Perouse Aboriginal community had been facilitated by an Aboriginal Project Health worker.
La Perouse clinic is held on a Monday once a month where Jeanette, a Women’s Health Nurse, sees Aboriginal women who have booked appointments or drop ins. Menai clinic is held every Wednesday by Emily, a Women’s Health Nurse, who also sees Aboriginal women for booked appointments or drop ins. Both clinics offer women Cervical Screening Tests and self-collection.
Both clinics use a spare clinical room on the days negotiated with existing services. A storage space was allocated to store equipment. Specimen pick up is through a designated cab service funded by the NSW Health pathology service.
The following steps may help you to organise an outreach clinic:
Step 1: Getting started
Check who will be conducting the outreach clinic (Is it you or a nurse from a local clinic?).
Determine which service provider you can partner with for the location of the outreach clinic and consider:
- Where is the lowest cervical screening participation area in your local region and who can you ask if you can hold your outreach clinic in this location?
- If the Aboriginal Medical Service doesn’t offer cervical screening, consider the option of organising an outreach clinic in a spare room at the AMS.
Discuss with the service provider on using a room at their service for the outreach clinic.
- Is the location safe, easily accessible and how will you make the cervical screening testing area private?
- Is there enough space to allow free movement while offering a Cervical Screening Test?
- Is there good public transport access/accessible parking?
- Is it easy to get in and out of the space (entrance/exits clearly marked and well lit, ramps)?
- Is there access to power and water?
- Does it meet other relevant public health requirements, such as COVID safety? (For COVID safety, refer to NSW Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan Template)
Complete Work Health & Safety assessment forms and send to your local Work Health & Safety Committee for approval. This whole process may take 4-6 weeks.
Get your public liability insurance certificate from your workplace in order to hold the outreach clinic. This may take up to 2 weeks to be provided to you.
- If you have a Media and Communications team, consider approaching them and ask for the media release template.
Otherwise, develop a media release:
- Summarise your key points of what you want people to know about the outreach clinic.
- Include your contact details.
- Request to include the outreach clinic dates on your organisation’s Facebook page.
Speak with the Health Service Manager and find a GP in town (someone who is well known and respected) to ask if they would mind being interviewed and quoted in a media release.
Find a local champion (e.g. an Aboriginal Health workforce member or well respected Elder who understands the importance of cervical screening) to assist you with recruiting women and spreading the word to women in their community.
- Provide promotional flyers to your community pharmacy, hairdressers, local existing community groups.
- Promote your outreach clinic through the local Aboriginal radio station such as Koori Radio.
- Include details about your outreach clinic in the local community Facebook pages and council website.
If you have a Social Media team, discuss the following with them:
- Promote your outreach clinic via social media, get people talking and discussing cervical screening.
- If you are offering the Institute’s gift bag, make sure to include in your social media post that all women will receive a gift bag on the day (brochures, compact mirrors, lip balms and pens).
Step 2: On the day
Set up signs for the outreach clinic.
If women meet the eligibility criteria, conduct Cervical Screening Tests.
Conducting the outreach clinic:
- Call the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) to check if women are due and obtain history for all women interested in booking an appointment, unless they have brought the reminder letter with them;
- If a laptop is available, check a woman’s last Cervical Screening Test via the National Cancer Screening Register.
For help with accessing the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR), an appointment with a NCSR specialist can be booked through the following link: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/TelstraHealthNCSR@health.telstra.com/bookings/
- Outreach clinics can be booked appointments or drop in, needs to be flexible.
- Consider different days and different times if this can be negotiated with the existing service provider.
- Offer women the choice of two options to have a Cervical Screening Test:
- to have a healthcare provider collect the sample from their cervix;
- for the person to collect their own vaginal sample.
- Keep a record of the number of women who screened on the day (both self-collection and clinician-collected.
- Either provide a survey or ask women how they heard about the outreach clinic and their experiences on the day.
Consider providing the Institute’s gift bags for all women attending their appointments.
Step 3: Evaluate your clinic
It is important to think about and document what went well and what could be done better next time by using survey tools to seek feedback.