My Body Back (MBB)



Sandyford – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

My Body Back (MBB) – West of Scotland is a service providing cervical cytology screening (smear testing) for people who have previously been raped or sexually assaulted. It consists of a dedicated clinic based at Sandyford Central in Glasgow, run by specifically trained staff with volunteer support workers supporting people through the clinic. This will be augmented by a bespoke training programme for all staff in West of Scotland Sexual Health services, delivered in conjunction with Rape Crisis Glasgow & Clyde, with support from My Body back - London and new information resources in conjunction with Rape Crisis Scotland.

Case Study:  An example of a woman who has completed a smear test where she has stated that this would not have been possible without MBB being available.

L, a woman in the 25-45 age group, made an appointment at the My Body Back clinic.  She needed support and re-assurance by email and telephone as she is a survivor of familial child rape and has experienced sexual violence as an adult.  Before the appointment she said “I am in a lot of pain and discomfort and am too ashamed and embarrassed to seek help from my GP.  This is my last attempt to conquer the fear of examination.  I need to keep on top of my health for the sake of my kids”.

She attended the service with her anxiety levels very high and needed several visits to the clinical room.  The clinical staff established ground rules and, using various supportive techniques, the smear test was successfully taken.  Onward referral to her own Health Board was also accepted.

Her feedback was as follows:

I just want to say a huge thank you for helping me achieve the impossible.  I liked how relaxed it all was and how I wasn’t rushed.  Everything was at my own pace”.

Dr Pauline McGough, Clinical Director at Sandyford, said “People who have survived sexual violence will often avoid seeking health care for a variety of reasons, including previous bad experiences of health care.  The MBB service in the West of Scotland offers a trauma informed environment with specialist sexual health clinicians and counsellors and Rape Crisis volunteers so that people can work towards having tests they need and take further steps toward recovery”