Port Macquarie workshop

The Port Macquarie First Learning Workshop, focused on breast cancer screening and took place on March 22 2017. Participant input is captured below.

You can contact our population health team on 02 6618 5400 if you have any questions.


How will we identify our under-screened women?

  • Data searches of BP women 50+
  • BreastScreen custom patient list
  • Print lists of all women over 50 and cross check with reminders
  • Explore options for coding with people who have had breast screening/private mammography
  • Identify those that don’t have reminders 
  • Get lists from Cancer Institute NSW who have had screening in the past 
  • Electronic referrals to BreastScreen
  • Phone Call – personal approach
  • Rotary – help provide transport to BreastScreen?

Top 3 groups of under-screened women

  1. Pain from mammogram
  2. Women from overseas who have moved to the region following marriage
  3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (privacy, culture)
  4. Busy women – time management, not prioritising personal health
  1. Healthy women (have a health lifestyle/believe they would experience symptoms/don’t engage in mainstream health system)
  2. Busy women
  3. Women who have had a bad experience in the past
  1. Rural women
  2. Women without transport
  3. Indigenous women

What steps do we need to take to maintain a breast screen register?

  • Ensure “code” is used to double check there is no-one missing from recall list
  • Ensure full reminder process is followed by all practitioners/involved staff
  • Continue to use/add to reminder system

The Port Macquarie Second Learning Workshop focused on cervical cancer screening and took place on June 15 2017. Participant input is captured below.

You can contact our population health team on 02 6618 5400 if you have any questions.

What’s been a challenge so far?

  1. Coding
  2. Time
  3. Labour intensive


  • BreastScreen data – not alphabetical
  • Staff access of medical files


What’s worked well?

  1. The WCSC has raised awareness – doctors are being more pro-active  at noticing patients 50-74 who have not had screening and handing them a BreastScreen referral
  2. Under-screened staff had mammograms!
  3. Improved number of patients in reminder systems
  1. Identified under-screened women
  2. Happy with the percent of women screened

(Reviewing data helped identify sub-groups whose screening rates were not as high as anticipated)

Who are your cervical under-screeners?

Women who:

  1. have never had a Pap
  2.  identify as LBQTI
  3. are disorganised
  4. have not been recently sexually active
  5. are in their 60’s/post-menopausal
  6. had a poor previous experience previously
  7. have vaginismus
  8. are from a culturally and linguistically diverse background

Women who:

  1. are over 60
  2. Non-English/ immigrant background
  3. have a history of sexual abuse or pelvic pain
  4. have had a history of high grade cervical dysplasia needing a hysterectomy. They are meant to have regular vault smears. Unfortunately lot of these women think they don’t need smears as they have no cervix.

Now that you’ve had a chance to review your data, has your perception of which women are breast cancer under-screeners changed?

Yes, we would include women in their early 50’s who have not started breast screening.

Yes, we would add women who have immigrated from the Philippines.

What are your three priorities leaving this workshop?

  1. Search data to identify those not screened for cervical cancer – ages 25-74
  2. Continue to identify and chase patients who have not had a breast screen
  3. Ensure reminder/recalls consistent across all doctors in the practice – so that it is easier to search the data
  1. 25-74 years old cervical screening
  2. Easier to search data
  3. Identify under-screened women for both cervical and breast screening

This website is no longer active but is available to browse as a resource.

Women’s Cancer Screening Collaborative (WCSC) 2017-2018

Through the delivery of structured, clinician-led general practice quality improvement and health literacy interventions, general practices worked towards increasing access to and equity of women’s cancer screening programs across the North Coast.

From January 2017 to July 2018, general practices improved clinical systems and data auditing processes to better identify and remind never or under-screened at-risk populations of women. Focus groups were also held with at-risk women to understand the environmental and individual barriers and motivators to screening. 

This WCSC website acted as an information repository for all WCSC developed content providing access to and sharing of quality improvement tools, change strategy resources and ideas.

WCSC evaluation and resources can be found on the North Coast Primary Health Network. 

Visit Resources

You have Successfully Subscribed!