NHS chooses P-Wave to deliver blood in pee cancer warnings for men, as part of a major new NHS earlier diagnosis drive
Towards the end of 2023, as part of a major new earlier diagnosis drive, the NHS decided to create an awareness campaign to encourage men to consult their GPs if they saw blood in their urine.
They chose SHC’s client P-Wave to feature a special message on its Slant6 urinal screens, literally putting the call to action directly in front of the target audience.
From December 2023, the “Blood in your pee? Contact your GP practice” message featured on urinal mats in thousands of men’s toilets across the country.
The campaign continues, and sports stadiums, pubs, restaurants, shops, and hotels are among the public places using the lifesaving mats with men’s workplaces also targeted.
Passing blood in pee – even just once – is a common symptom for bladder, kidney or prostate cancers, which are all among the ten most prevalent cancers in the country, and generally affect men more than women.
The NHS push comes alongside a new survey which found that nearly half of men (46%) thought blood in pee was not a symptom of cancer. And two-fifths (39%) of men surveyed said they would wait until they’ve noticed blood in their pee multiple times before seeing a GP.
The new findings also show that just over half of men in England use a public urinal at least once a week and the majority of men (71%) said they would be more likely to contact their GP practice if they saw messaging on a urinal mat and were experiencing blood in their pee.
The survey also showed that more than 3 out of 5 men (64%) would think a venue is concerned about cleanliness, health and/or wellness if they saw a urinal screen in a public washroom.
Coordinated consumer and trade PR campaign
The NHS worked closely with FreudsPlus for the consumer campaign and with SHC to handle the trade side.
Health chiefs believe this unique, first of its kind partnership with P-Wave will enable the NHS to place vital cancer awareness messaging in public urinals, a relevant location where symptoms such as blood in pee may first be noticed.
Data shows that more people than ever before are being seen and treated by the NHS for cancer. In the last year the number of people receiving lifesaving checks for cancer hit nearly three million (2.92m) – more than any other year on record.
Diagnosing cancer early means it is easier to treat and can save lives, which is why the NHS is urging people to be aware of changes in their bodies and contact their GP practice if they notice symptoms that could be cancer.
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS England National Clinical Director for Cancer, said: “Having blood in your pee – even just once – shouldn’t be ignored because it can be a sign of cancer, so it needs to be checked out by your GP team.
“Cancer survival is at an all-time high, and we’re seeing more cancers than ever before being picked up at an early stage – and this partnership with P-Wave is just one of the many ways we are helping people to be aware of possible cancer symptoms.
“While this initiative is about helping men to spot the signs of cancer, everyone needs to be more aware – please look for any changes that may be unusual for you – and get checked out early, it could save your life.”
To deliver the campaign, the NHS chose P-Wave – a leading urinal products brand – to put the message “Blood in your pee? Contact your GP practice” on urinal mats in thousands of men’s toilets across the country.
P-Wave Managing Director Dave Carson said: “We are proud to be working with NHS England on this first-of-its-kind partnership, which offers a creative yet simple way to convey a potentially life-saving cancer awareness message.”
The consumer press release from FreudsPlus went live on 6th December, with the headline: “Cancer Signs on Urinal Mats in Pubs and Football Grounds, as Part of Major New NHS Cancer Catching Drive”.
Within 24 hours it had secured over 60 pieces of coverage, including 2 national broadcast, 20 regional broadcast, 7 national print/online, 25 regional print/online, 3 consumer, 3 trade and 4 social posts.
More followed over the next week, and in January an update story looking at how record numbers are being tested for cancer, but treatment targets are still being missed in England gained even more attention. By 6th January, the story had secured over 100 pieces of coverage.
P-Wave and its message-branded urinal screen featured heavily in all this coverage, with many media outlets choosing to use images of the screens as the main illustration.
As part of the carefully coordinated PR strategy, SHC sent out the trade press release on 6th December, with the headline: “NHS chooses P-Wave to deliver blood in pee cancer warnings for men, as part of a major new NHS earlier diagnosis drive.” The release secured 16 pieces of coverage in December, reaching an audience of over 14,000 with 137 brand mentions.
SHC is proud be part of such an important health initiative and to see how much attention both PR campaigns have brought to the issue, resulting in GP referrals rising at an impressive level.
“We are delighted that through our P-Wave urinal mats, we can encourage people to check for blood in their pee and to contact their GP practice if they spot it. We are excited to share these with our customers and play a part in helping spread this important message.”P-Wave Managing Director Dave Carson