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Working with primary care to improve cancer screening rates

May 31, 2021

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is actively working with the National Cancer Screening Programs and local GPs to increase cancer screening rates for our region.

There has been a significant decline in people undertaking breast and cervical screenings which has been an area of concern[i]. To address these numbers, the PHN is rolling out the Cancer Screening Campaign for General Practice with 21 general practices already signed up to participate in the campaign until November 2021.

The campaign aims to increase participation rates for the three National Cancer Screening Programs – breast, bowel and cervical with practices utilising a suite of quality improvement (QI) tools – including GoShare resource bundles, a tailored cancer screening Topbar app and QI toolkits which will support participating practices in improving screening rates.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt said the campaign is all about saving lives.

“The cervical cancer screening participation rates in our region are around 42%, if we can increase that by just 1% an extra 1,500 lives could be saved,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

Since the campaign rollout commenced in April participating practices have identified over 2,000 eligible patients either overdue or not recorded for their cancer screening by using the Topbar app.

“Cancer screenings are important to detect and diagnose any malignancies early, they help to ensure patients have the best possible options available to them should they be diagnosed,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

“This campaign provides practices with all the tools they need to identify and engage with patients who are eligible for screening.”

Introductory webinars and in-service training is also provided including cancer screening resource packs for practice waiting rooms. The campaign is also quality improvement focused with participating practices also fulfilling their Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) requirements.


Want to make a difference to your patients while also increasing billing opportunities and fulfilling your PIP QI requirements?

There is still time to get involved in the Cancer Screening Campaign.

The PHN will fund access to the QI tools and provide your practice with QI activities – so you don’t need to think about what QI activities you need to focus on for the next six months.

If you are interested, please email

[i] Australian Institute of Health Welfare. Cancer screening programs: quarterly data. AIHW, Canberra.2021.

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