Since the pandemic, there have been almost 7,000 fewer urgent cancer referrals, and over 440 fewer cancers diagnosed in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. Using the evidence and insight from applying Behavioural Science approach to Increase cervical screening we are extending this work to improve early diagnosis outcomes in the areas most affected.

Behavioural Science based on the study of “human habits, actions and intentions” spans the fields of psychology, HR, economics and organisational behaviour. It recognises that traditional approaches such as educating or informing people don’t work as well as we previously thought and incorporates a much wider set of factors – for example:

1. People are heavily influenced by who communicates information – you are Doctors and Nurses
who have authority, trust and respect (MESSENGER)
2. People are strongly influenced by what others do (NORMS)
3. People respond to incentives in terms of what they will gain and more importantly lose
4. People respond to what feels novel or relevant to them (SALIENCE)
5. People act in ways that make them feel better about themselves (EGO)

Working with the Behavioural Science experts in Caja and those working across cancer pathways including Voluntary and Charity organisations, Primary care and Cancer services in hospitals a toolkit of nudge interventions is developed.

The How-To guide for each of the nudges, along with a number of other resources are available below - you can also find further communication materials here. (Resources will continue to be added as the programme continues).

Behavioural Science Nudge Summaries

Community Primary Care & Hospital Cancer Services Nudge Interventions

  • Act Now and Proactive Help to Book Conversation Card - Used in VCSE organisations to raise awareness of cancer signs and symptoms and encourage individuals to access Primary Care Services.
  • Appointment Reminders - To encourage attendance at Primary Care services if worried about cancer signs and symptoms.
  • Have I Considered Cancer- Visual Que in Primary Care for clinicians.
  • Referral Conversation Card- Used by clinicians in Primary Care services during patient consultations.
  • Hospital Appointment Reminders- Used in Hospital Cancer Services through various communication methods e.g. letters, leaflets and text messages.
  • Sticky Conversations- Used by Hospital Cancer Services teams to support conversations with patients to encourage attendance at diagnostic appointments.
Community and Primary Care Nudge Assets

Behavioural Science Nudges: How-To Guides

These How-To guides detail the process and design of the intervention, the evidence behind it, and the possible barriers. They also explain how best to apply the nudges and how to measure their effect.