Nikki- Gynaecology CNS/Lead Colposcopist

Monday marked the beginning of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. We spoke to Nikki Webb about her role of Gynaecology Clinical Nurse Specialist & Lead Colposcopist, here at UHS. 


Tell us about your role and time at UHS...

My Name is Nikki Webb and I am a Gynaecology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lead Colposcopist for the trust. I have 2 main areas of clinical work, these are Colposcopy and Hysteroscopy. I have worked at UHS since I qualified in 1999 from the University of Southampton. In my career I have worked in Trauma and Orthopaedics and Neuro Rehab. I have been working at PAH in gynaecology since 2010.

What training have you had to get where you are today? 

My colposcopy training was through the British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. This takes 18 months and as nurses we complete the same training as doctors. We have 3 nurse Colposcopist and 6 Doctors. We are very lucky to have 3 nurse Colposcopists as most units will have 1 if they have any at all.

My hysteroscopy training was through Bradford University as a Level 7 PG cert and took 18 months. This is a specific course for nurses and there are less nurse hysteroscopists than Colposcopists. I am the only one at UHS. Hysteroscopy is an examination of the womb with a camera. This is usually performed for women with abnormal uterine bleeding. For example post-menopausal bleeding, heavy periods.

What do you feel makes UHS world-class?

Colposcopy is an examination of the cervix that is undertaken when there is suspicion of an abnormality to the cervix. The majority of our referrals come from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, where an abnormal smear test has been found. Other referrals will be due to suspicious symptoms of cervical cancer or abnormal looking cervix. These will be via GP’s, Sexual Health, Gynaecology Assessment Unit or Maternity Services. We see women from as far afield as The Falkland Islands as they do not have this service. We get roughly 2500 – 3000 referrals a year.

Is there a moment of working in the department that made you feel proud of your job?

We pride ourselves on being able to see 98%  of women within the time frame suggested by the  cancer screening guidelines. This takes a lot of effort on the part of our admin staff and clinicians running extra clinics when we have an influx of referrals.

What is the overall team environment like?

Working in women’s’ health is very rewarding and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with students, practice nurses, GP services.  In February I am going to be doing a teaching session for GP’s through Gateway C and Wessex Cancer Alliance on cervical screening and cervical cancer.

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