Joined up health and social care teams in Oxfordshire identified a low uptake in bowel cancer screening by men in Wantage and sent social prescribers to support them to take up the offer.
Men aged 65 to 74 who had not had bowel screening, the influenza vaccine and had poor engagement with health services in the last two years, were identified as most likely to need support.
Social prescribers first undertook extra training on patient activation and cancer screening in general, as well as bowel screening training, and initially contacted 50 men. Almost half took up the screening and the team will now offer more preventative care where needed.
Staff from the primary care network, Cancer Research UK, Age UK and other stakeholders in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS), worked together to design the system to improve cancer outcomes.
The key benefits include the close relationships developed in the primary care network team especially the social prescribers and care coordinators, an enthusiasm for a proactive approach to improving health and wellbeing of a vulnerable group, and developing new partnerships with other organisations such as Cancer Research UK.