HeadSmart now and in the future
Since the successful launch of the campaign in June 2011, HeadSmart has been growing:
Increasing awareness among health professionals
- An online education module to help health professionals recognise the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people has been developed and launched. It has received much positive feedback
“Interesting informative and definitely needed. I would like to forward this to all the paediatricians and GPs I know”
(Consultant Paediatrician specialising in Paediatric Oncology)
- The network of Clinical Champions in each of the neuro-oncology centres around the UK have been giving presentations to fellow health professionals regarding the campaign
- Members of the HeadSmart project team, including Professor David Walker, Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, Nottingham and Dr Sophie Wilne, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, have been speaking or exhibiting at health professionals’ conferences, including The Royal College of GPs (RCGP), the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) and the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPVHA), where they have also promoted the ‘Diagnosis of brain tumours in children’ guideline
- HeadSmart materials have been added to delegate bags at other conferences, including the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) and the Teenage Cancer Trust
- HeadSmart materials have been distributed to over 1000 GP surgeries around the country.
- HeadSmart has been liaising with cancer networks and other professional networks across the UK to engage them in helping to spread the important HeadSmart message
- HeadSmart has also gone European! On Rare Diseases Day (29th February 2012) a new pan-European HeadSmart campaign was launched. Several countries are devising strategies to roll-out a ‘HeadSmart’ campaign about the warning signs targeting GPs and the public, including Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Austria, Poland and Spain.
Increasing awareness among the public
- HeadSmart is now on Facebook and Twitter.
- Articles featuring HeadSmart have appeared in magazines such as OK! Extra and You magazine in the Mail on Sunday.
- Communication with charity stakeholders - colleagues across the country who share our vision of quicker brain tumour diagnoses have come together to learn about the campaign and receive HeadSmart materials and help spread the HeadSmart message.
- We have grown a network of volunteers around the country who have distributed thousands of symptom cards and posters to their local schools, nurseries etc as well as GP surgeries and hospital waiting rooms.
- With the increased publicity and spreading of the HeadSmart message by word of mouth, the number of volunteer distributors is growing. These volunteers are enthusiastic and passionate due to their personal or family experience with brain tumours and are helping to distribute the symptoms cards and materials across the whole of the UK.
If you would like to help reduce the time it takes for a child to be diagnosed with a brain tumour, please see our page with suggestions on how you can get involved.
In total, over 60,000 symptom cards, 5,000 posters and 7,000 leaflets have been distributed across the UK.
The future of HeadSmart
Following the successful launch of HeadSmart last year, it is critical that we build on the momentum of this vital campaign to ensure the early indications of a reduction in the time to diagnose continue and to reach our ultimate goal to reduce disabilities and save lives.
We are intending to do this in a number of ways:-
- Creation of bespoke packs for schools and for other charities.
- Continuing to publicise HeadSmart at health professionals’ conferences and journals, in popular magazines and websites, and also on Facebook and Twitter
And in particular
- Marshalling our growing number of volunteer distributors into a more cohesive force and recruiting, over the next year, 100 Community Champions around the country to complement the work of the Clinical Champions already in place.
- The Community Champions will be responsible for spreading the HeadSmart message around their local community. We will support the champions in distributing symptom cards and campaign information in the most appropriate places within their communities, such as GP surgeries; in giving talks to schools and nurseries etc; hosting stands at shopping centres; holding awareness-raising events such as tea-parties, and publicising what they are doing via the media, or through relevant networks, such as child-minders. Their aim will be to get the message to as many parents, young people and health professionals as possible.
If you are interested in becoming a HeadSmart Community Champion or HeadSmart Volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about this or other ways to help, please also see, How Can I Help?