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Published: 08 November 2023

National Screening Service welcomes delegates to Dublin for the 16th European Public Health Conference

Thank you for visiting our website to learn more about our work in population screening in Ireland.

We’re exhibiting our work at this year’s European Public Health Conference in Dublin and are delighted to meet delegates from across Europe and beyond to highlight how our screening services contribute to good health and wellbeing and a sustainable future.

Our exhibition has been designed and printed with re-usable materials and all our accompanying information resources are available online through a QR code.

We invite you to follow us on X @NSShse to keep up to date about our activities and population screening programmes.

Our strategy

Our 5-year strategy, Choose Screening – Together we can make a difference, provides a clear vision of what we hope to achieve through our population screening programmes: To work together to save lives and improve people’s health.

Putting people at the centre of what we do – developing, delivering and improving our services – and working in partnership with our stakeholders are essential to achieving this vision.

Have a listen to our HSE Talking Health & Wellbeing podcast where our Chief Executive Fiona Murphy, and Grace Rattigan, one of our Patient and Public Partnership (PPP) representatives chat with host Fergal Fox about the significance of a person-centred approach in developing our strategy, and how we aim to ensure that screening is an informed choice for people.

Our screening programmes

We deliver four population screening programmes in Ireland – 3 that screen for cancer, and 1 that screens for diabetic retinopathy. Our mission is to help prevent, reduce the risk of, and assist the recognition of, disease.

Equity in screening

Equity is a key priority for us in our strategy. We work with communities to enable more people to take part in our population screening programmes. We aim to address health inequities to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to be as healthy as possible.

We’re developing a strategic framework to improve equity in screening, due to be published by the end of 2023. Our 2022 report provides an overview of some of our work to reduce inequity in screening.

Patient Reported Experience Measures programme (PREMs)

We are committed to ensuring that our four screening programmes meet the needs of our participants and that they are truly person-centred. To do this effectively, we want to understand what it feels like to use our services and what difficulties or barriers people face. This is a key part of our Patient and Public Partnership strategy.

PREM(s) is an online survey gathering feedback from screening participants about their experience at each stage of the screening pathway. Responses are collected in real-time and provide us with detailed information about how well we do as our participants navigate through the screening pathway. This helps us identify where improvements can be made and to build on what is working well across the programme.

Our BowelScreen programme was the first programme to implement the survey in 2022, followed by our BreastCheck programme in 2023. The surveys will extend to our other programmes in 2024 and 2025.

Cervical cancer elimination

Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to publicly commit to the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination initiative. During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in January 2023, we published a roadmap to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem.

Ireland established a Cervical Cancer Elimination Partnership in 2021 and is making progress towards achieving the WHO global targets.

Ireland will announce its target date for elimination on 17 November 2023 – the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination Day of Action. Follow @NSShse and #TogetherTowardsElimination for updates.

Keep up to date: read our blogs and follow us on X @NSShse