Out of the 15 million patients invited to screenings each year, only 10 million attend their appointment. Evidence shows that an SMS invitation reminder can increase attendance at cancer screening by 5.2%.
That could mean 780,000 more people screened and 7,800 lives saved.
We have been made aware that Public Health England has issued guidance on sending screening text message reminders.
Currently, only 34% of CCGs ensure their patients receive a text message reminder alongside the traditional screening invitation letter, but the publishing of this guidance gives us hope that NHS England and Public Health England are taking note of our call for text message reminders nationally.
As a result, we have written again to NHSX (the digital body for the NHS) to continue our call for action.
Get the message
The #RemindUs campaign is calling for NHSX (the NHS technology team) to enable 100% of England’s GP practices to send their patients SMS reminders as part of their invitation to cancer screenings. This simple intervention could save 7,800 lives each year.
The timing of this campaign is crucial – NHSX must act fast. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cancer Research UK has reported a reduction of 2,700 fewer people being diagnosed each week, due to a pause in the cancer screening programmes and a severe reduction in referrals. The introduction of SMS reminders will give screening attendance the boost it needs as the health sector rebuilds from the pandemic.
New ambassador alert!
Instagram star and contestant on The Circle, Beth Dunlavey, talks to us about the importance of cancer screenings.
When I heard about this campaign, I knew it was something that I wanted to be involved in. I live my ENTIRE life through my phone and rely on it so much to let me know where I need to be and when. I spend a lot of time travelling so when I do get home to Newcastle I do sometimes ignore a lot of the post, naughty I know. So if I could get a text message to remind me to book my cervical screening that would just be amazing!
Why do patients get SMS reminders and some don’t?
Right now, it’s up to regional bodies to decide if the practices in their region will gain access to the SMS screening reminder service.
Currently, only 34% of CCGs ensure their patients receive a text message reminder alongside the traditional screening invitation letter.
Why do you need to sign the petition?
Show your support:
Sign the petition. By signing the petition you will be demonstrating your support for this life-saving campaign. Once you have signed the petition, you will be invited to share the petition with others, so it would be great if you can. If you have opted in to receive regular campaign updates, we aim to share a weekly update with you, on our campaigning efforts.
Sign up to be a case study to share your story. Did you miss a screening appointment? We want to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a call to discuss next steps.
Share this page across your social channels to let people know about the campaign.