Sutton Mencap have produced a series of films about cancer screenings, aiming to improve access to health services for people with a learning disability.
The importance of accessible advice and information
People with learning disabilities may find it hard to understand information about cancer screening. There is also lower uptake of cancer screening among people with a learning disability compared to the general population. So people can make an informed choice, it’s important that everyone knows the benefits of cancer screening.
Making a difference
In the films people with learning disabilities explain what cancer is, who it can affect and what is involved in different kinds of screening. They hope this will encourage take up and bust myths about cancer.
I didn’t know about male breast cancer before I watched the film. I was really shocked to hear that.Bradley
Everyone involved is really happy with how the films have turned out and are proud to have contributed towards something that will help other people with learning disabilities. For Gemma the bowel cancer screening film is particularly personal.
My family are really proud of my work. My sister is especially proud as our mum passed away from bowel cancer so she was happy to see me do something positive.Gemma
Members also enjoyed learning new skills such as acting, filming and doing voiceovers for the films. In addition, they made new friends and got to see first-hand how screening works by visiting NHS services.
The cancer films are a good way for us to learn about the tests.Nick
This exciting project is a brilliant example of partnership working in Sutton – created and produced by Sutton Mencap staff and members, supported by advice from Sutton health and Care and funded by NHS South West London.
Talking about the films, Hina Rahimi, Assistant Head of Transformation – Sutton said: “These videos will help people to understand what the cancer screening will involve and can prepare them what to expect. The brilliant thing about these films is that they have been co-produced and co-designed with people with learning disabilities.”
Sutton Health and Care echoed Hina’s comments. Carly Dalton, Learning Disabilities Health Facilitator and Service Improvement Programme Manager, Sutton Health and Care said: “We have been proud to support Sutton Mencap in their fantastic work making the cancer screening videos. Our hope is that they are used to increase the uptake of cancer screening in people with learning disabilities.”
Finally, David Hobday from Sutton Mencap highlights the success of this project. “Sutton Mencap’s film club was a huge success. Thanks to NHS funding, we were able to set up a club producing films on cancer screening and other health issues. People with a learning disability were central to the production of these films, deciding on the topics covered and the content, as well as taking central roles in front of and behind the camera. We saw their skills and confidence grow as they presented some very important messages. It was a great project to be involved in.”
Sutton Mencap’s next film will focus on cervical cancer screening. You can find the films on the Sutton Mencap media hub.