By Iyamide Thomas

The United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme (NHSSCTSP) have published new resources as part of their strategy to improve public understanding of sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and genetic screening.

Education and outreach have been important for the NHSSCTSP because it was the first national genetic screening programme in the UK National Health Service. In 2009, the UK Sickle Cell Society was commissioned to deliver the NHSSCTSP public outreach on sickle cell. There was a lack of awareness of sickle cell and lots of stigma around the condition particularly in the high risk African and Caribbean communities most at risk of inheriting sickle cell so it was important to educate about sickle cell, testing and associated myths.

These resources now published include a good practice guide for people who commission, fund, deliver and evaluate outreach programmes, an overview of the work delivered and the research underpinning it. The resources capture the learning from years of outreach work. They include a detailed guide that explains the learning, video clips from public events and interviews with service users and people who delivered the outreach.

Resources can be accessed from: