Outreach screening programmes are designed to supplement, signpost to and coexist with existing health care services. The strategy is defined mainly by offering information and testing in non-health care focused public locations such as community centres, schools, libraries, at events or and in other facilities. Most published examples of screening for viral hepatitis among migrants used an outreach model. There is much to learn from these examples as well as from the experiences from the HEPscreen pilots in Barcelona or in Grampian.
There are three main benefits to an outreach strategy:
You mostly reach people that may not attend health care services very often
You can offer relevant and appropriate information and offer testing at the same time
You can raise awareness of the issue of viral hepatitis because the information and testing is offered in public places
Key considerations are time, money, infrastructure and staff. Setting up outreach screening can be more expensive than other approaches, although this does not necessarily mean it is less cost-effective. It also required good links with the community you want to reach – both to ensure that the screening locations, materials and overall approach are appropriate for that community.
Case study: An active outreach strategy in Barcelona
Read about the HEPscreen pilot in Barcelona. Drawing on a well established community health worker team, the Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Spain developed an active community outreach programme. This involved education and awareness sessions delivered in accessible community locations in the native language of the specific group. People were then invited to go for testing in an international health centre.
Case study: Outreach screening in workplaces in Grampian
Read about the HEPscreen pilot in workplaces in and around the Grampian area. In this innovative approach, public health doctors and nurses worked with large employers to offer education and awareness sessions and testing on site in the workplace.
'How to...' Guide
This practical guide brings together all the learning from the two HEPscreen community outreach screening pilots . It aims to enable other to replicate a community outreach approach in another population in another area.