Healthwatch Trauma Ambassadors, Della, reflects on her experience of being involved in co-production for their upcoming film about cervical screening.

I provide support for victims of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence, both recent and non-recent. I had repeated clients that had medical issues that may have been picked up earlier with cervical screening. These clients were aware of the risks of not having screening but actively chose not to attend them because they were too traumatic or felt they would be triggering. This made me reflect on my own history of medical care and the positive and negative issues that it raised.

I started to look for specialist support (for screening when trauma had been an issue) in Essex… NONE. In East Anglia… NONE. Eventually I found a unit in Mile End in London and in Glasgow in Scotland. I contacted the London centre and got no response. I asked local medical providers and practitioners in Colchester and Tendring if they knew of any funding for support… NONE.

Eventually my own GP service’s patient group, who I am a member of, suggested contacting Healthwatch Essex. Sharon contacted me and I joined the Trauma Ambassador Group (TAG) in the summer of 2022. I had little involvement with the production of the Trauma Card but was involved with its launch. I can remember with great excitement asking Sharon for the cards to be sent to the centre I work at. I was even more excited when they arrived, and I got to give them out to clients.

Click here to read more :