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Published: 27 March 2024

Latest news update from the National Screening Service – March 2024

Welcome to our latest news summary featuring updates from across the National Screening Service (NSS). To keep up to date with all of our news, including upcoming events and job opportunities, read our blogs, follow us on X @NSShse, and on LinkedIn.

Have your say - public consultation seeks views on making cervical cancer rare

Marking International HPV Awareness Day on 4 March, we launched an online public consultation survey and invited everyone to share their views and experiences of HPV vaccination, cervical screening, and treatment. This is the first step in developing Ireland’s action plan to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.

Everyone over the age of 18 is invited to take part in the survey. Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey, shared it, and helped to promote it. If you haven’t already completed the survey, it will be open until 5 April and we want to hear your views.

The survey is available at All responses are anonymous and confidential.

New Diabetic RetinaScreen eLearning module developed for health and social care staff

We have developed a new eLearning resource about diabetic retina screening for health and social care staff. This 15-minute module is available on the HSE learning portal HSeLanD. It aims to increase knowledge about diabetic retina screening among health and social care staff so they can support people in their care to take part in the DRS programme.

The resource has been created for use by GPs, diabetes nurses, practice nurses, dieticians, podiatrists, primary care staff, health promotion staff and anyone who has an interest in diabetes care. It will help health and social care staff to identify people who are eligible for diabetic retina screening, explain the screening journey to people with diabetes and support people to register for and access screening.

The HSeLanD portal is available to staff in Ireland within the hospital and community setting in the HSE, in the voluntary hospital sector, and in associated non-government organisations working in health or allied services. When you sign in or register on the site, search for Diabetic RetinaScreen: helping your patient on their screening journey.

NSS launches Bowel Cancer Awareness Month campaign 2024

“IF you’re aged 59-69 it’s never too late to take your first BowelScreen test.” This is the key message in our campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, which begins in April. Research has shown that after taking their first bowel screen test, people are more likely to take tests in the future when invited to do so. In fact, 90% of people who take one BowelScreen test will stay in the programme and complete further tests.

We will run an extensive social media, press, stakeholder engagement, and advertising campaign to support people to choose bowel screening. And we will publish blogs throughout the campaign on our website.

You can support our campaign by sharing our key messages and our online content on LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter).

In the run up to Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we are asking our stakeholders and partners to check that their online and printed resources include the new eligible age range (59-69), following the inclusion of people aged 59 in BowelScreen in October 2023.

For more information on the campaign, please contact

International Women’s Day – Inspire Inclusion

The theme for International Women’s Day on 8 March was ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and we profiled some of the women who are involved in our screening programmes as they explained what inclusion means to them.

Inspiring inclusion strongly echoes our equity work, and was the focus of blogs featuring two of our senior health promotion officers.

Lynn Swinburne explained how inclusion is a priority in her daily work: “Meaningful inclusion is about people representing their own communities in their own words, and us listening and truly understanding what that means. It’s about understanding those experiences and responding accordingly. It’s about understanding inequity and knowing how we can start to address that. It’s about having a culture where inclusion is the way we do our business - it’s the everyday.”

Kathryn Meade described inclusion as being “about meeting people where they are at, and accepting people for who they are. It’s about supporting the vulnerable, marginalised and excluded groups in our society. This can be done in many ways, including the provision of resources and funding, access to services, education and supports.”

We want everyone to understand what screening is and to be able to participate in screening if they want to. Read more about how we are working to improve equity in screening.

More news in brief

Here is a selection of the blogs we published in March. Several blogs were published to mark International HPV Awareness Day on 4 March.

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