NI AAA Screening Programme Office
Tel: 028 9063 1828


AAA screening and treatment saved my life

Brian Topping recounts his experience of attending AAA screening and being diagnosed with a large aneurysm. Having had no previous symptoms and no idea that anything was wrong, Brian explains how, after prompt treatment and a period of recuperation, he is now relieved that life is back to normal.









Review of AAA Screening Leaflets and Promotional Materials

The review of NI AAA screening information materials, which ran from September 2015 until April 2016, has successfully concluded.  Contributors (pictured above) included Programme Team staff - from both the Public Health Agency and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust - as well as PHA Communication colleagues, service users and representatives from local men's groups.  The main publications revised were the:

  • General Information Leaflet
  • You have a Small Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (results leaflet)
  • You have a Medium Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (results leaflet)
  • You have a Large Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (results leaflet)
  • Awareness Leaflet
  • Healthcare Professional Information Sheet
  • A3 Screening Poster
  • Display stands

The aim of the review was to update and re-format materials with new statistics (based on data from the Northern Ireland AAA Screening Programme), images and testimonials from service users.  The review benefitted considerably from the input of service users, whose experience of the programme - and the information available - helped to shape the style and content of the updated publications.  Particular thanks is extended to Mr and Mrs McFarland and Mr Barry Dalzell for their contributions.

Relevant invitation and results letters will similarly be updated, and changes will be required to existing translations of materials in hard copy, audio and website versions.

In April, all revised resources were sent, as part of a professional information pack, to every Northern Ireland GP practice and pharmacy.  In the coming months, it is planned to send out an electronic feedback questionnaire to GPs and pharmacies for comments on the new materials.

If you have any queries or suggestions with regard to AAA screening information materials, please contact Mrs Jacqueline McDevitt, Quality Assurance Manager at the PHA, on 02890 311611.


2016 Annual Service User Event

The fourth Annual Service User Event took place on Thursday 28th April 2016 in Belfast Central Mission's Grosvenor Hall.  As at previous events, all men who had been screen-detected with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in the former screening year (2014/2015) were invited to attend.  Service users who participated in this year's event included Mr Gerald and Mrs Freda Monaghan from Holywood and Mr Martin and Mrs Mildred McStravick from Glengormley (pictured above).  The workshop was again well supported by service users and programme staff.  Forty-two participants - made up of 20 service users (including wives, partners and friends) and 22 programme staff - enjoyed updates on programme performance and developments from key members of the screening team.  This year, the morning also comprised two separate breakout sessions; the first, as in previous years, to facilitate feedback from service users on their experience of the programme and suggest potential areas for improvement; the second, to encourage discussion of the merits of a 'buddy system' being introduced into the programme.  Debate around the 'buddy sytem' (where a man recently screen-detected with an AAA would have the option of contacting a man who has already received treatment for a large AAA , or who is under surveillance for a small or medium AAA) generated much feedback and many points for consideration.  Participants will, in due course, receive a comprehensive summary of the findings of the morning's discussions, while the programme team will continue to consider and progress, where appropriate, suggested areas for improvement.