Very Important Invitation is a co-production between Suffolk GP+, Public Health bodies, local charities, women and people in the community to promote accessible cervical screening.
Where our service operates from
- Bury St Edmunds
- Wickham Market
- East Bergholt
Appointments available on evenings and weekends
Cervical screening can be very daunting for many reasons, and we want every single woman and person with a cervix in Suffolk to realise that no matter how you may feel about this quick and simple procedure, we have everything in place to make sure that you feel happy and safe when you are with us.
We are all very concerned with the current data about cervical smear testing in Suffolk. Women and people within the 25 to 49 age range, those living with disabilities, physical and mental health issues, those that have experienced trauma and/or abuse, and people from some ethnic communities are far less likely to accept their cervical smear invitation than others.
It is heartbreaking to think that if you are within these categories, there is a real risk that cases of cervical cancer will not be spotted until it is too late for treatment. This is what drives us to want to make things better.
The Suffolk GP Federation and co-producers have been working around the clock to create a testing service that is accessible to EVERYONE, with evening and weekend appointments to make sure that we can see even more people for screening. We understand that the screening process can make people feel physically and mentally vulnerable. So, whilst, in-clinic we will do everything to support you and make you feel safe… you are in control.
The cervical screening in GP+ will always be carried out by a female nurse, you can bring a friend or person of support, request a longer appointment, we can supply a translator, you can ask for a smaller speculum, listen to music and if you need us to stop, we will stop. These are just some of the many adjustments we can make to support you through the appointment.
Requesting an appointment is very straightforward using our booking request form or you can call your GP practice, but whichever method you use it is vital that you tell us if you need any extra support at your appointment. If you let us know, we can make this happen and ensure that you are not denied this potentially life-saving screening.
The service is being managed by Suffolk GP Federation on behalf of GP practices and includes evening and weekend screening appointments via the Suffolk GP+ service.
Clinics running from bases in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Glemsford, Eye and Wickham Market.
Meet The Team
Lucy Ainsley – Cervical Screening Project Manager
Lucy has previously worked in business development roles and enjoys communicating and building relationships at all levels. Lucy feels passionate about making healthcare better for people living with disabilities & has a focus on health equality. Lucy feels that healthcare & cervical screening should be accessible to all patients across Suffolk and likes to support with reasonable adjustments to make this possible. Lucy thrives on being busy and supporting the projects growth.
T: 07931 264153 E: Lucy.Ainsley@suffolkfed.org.uk
Ashleigh Townes Cervical Screening Project Admin Assistant
Ashleigh has been working for the Suffolk GP Fed for around 2 years. Starting back in January 2020 and working through Covid as an Executive Assistant for our Executive Team. Ashleigh has now joined the Cervical Screening team and is passionate about women’s health and feels strongly about offering equality and diversity in healthcare. You will often see Ashleigh out and about at our community engagement events and is the face behind our social media and website.
T: 07572 264085 E: Ashleigh.Townes@suffolkfed.org.uk
Maddy Dunningham RN, Non-Medical Prescriber – Health Educator
Maddy has been a nurse for 8 years with a background in obstetrics and gynaecology and has spent the last 6 years working as a practice nurse. She is passionate about women’s health with a particular interest in menopause. Maddy believes healthcare should be accessible to all and is keen to ensure that patients voices are heard.
T: 07931 264230 E: Maddy.Dunningham@suffolkfed.org.uk
Hannah Ismay, RN, Health Educator
Hannah has been a nurse for 16 years, during this time Hannah has worked within both the district nursing and school nursing teams and more recently has worked for a number of years as a practice nurse. Hannah has a keen interest supporting and improving the physical and mental health of patients across Suffolk. Hannah is passionate about educating and offering support to ensure that cervical screening is offered to all women, trans men and intersex patients and is committed to reducing health exclusion and inequalities, challenging stigma, and discrimination in health care.
T: 07903137047 E: Hannah.Ismay@suffolkfed.org.uk
Laura Cobbold, RN, Health Educator
Laura has 8 years’ experience as a practice nurse and has a keen interest in contraception, menopause and women’s health. Laura is keen to encourage more open and accepted conversations about sexual health and increase the comfort, accessibility and trust between patients and health services, in particular Cervical Screening.
T: 07931264155 E: Laura.Cobbold@suffolkfed.org.uk
Follow the Very Important Invitation project on social media:
If you would like to give any suggestions or feedback about the service please feel free to email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reducing cervical screening inequalities for trans people: https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2019/04/10/reducing-cervical-screening-inequalities-for-trans-people/