A pilot of a new screening test in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.
From March 2013, the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme will be piloting a new screening test. Men and women in six pilot areas will be invited for 'bowel scope screening' around the time of their 55th birthday. Bowel scope screening is an examination called 'flexible sigmoidoscopy'' which looks inside the lower bowel. The aim is to find any small growths called 'polyps', which may develop into bowel cancer if left untreated. Bowel scope screening is an addition to the existing NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.
The pilot will run in 6 bowel cancer screening centres:
- South of Tyne (Queen Elizabeth & South Tyneside)
- West Kent (West Kent & Medway)
- St Marks (London)
- Surrey (Guildford)
These sites were chosen because they can cope with the extra workload that bowel scope screening will bring. They have also been assessed to ensure that they meet certain standards and requirements.
Our website will be updated as and when we know the timeframes for bowel scope screening to be introduced across more areas of the country.
How is bowel scope screening carried out?
We will begin sending bowel scope invitations in the pilot areas at the end of March 2013. If you receive an invitation, you will be offered an appointment at your local bowel cancer screening centre. If the appointment isn't convenient, you can change it. If you decide not to come, but later change your mind, a new appointment can be made any time up until your 60th birthday. After you reach 60, you will be offered the existing home testing kit for bowel cancer (the FOB kit).
For more information, you can read or download the leaflet on NHS bowel scope screening.
What about people in areas where the pilot isn't happening?
It isn't possible to introduce a new type of screening test everywhere at the same time. If you don't live in one of the pilot areas, this means that bowel scope screening is not yet available to you. The plan is to make bowel scope screening available to all 55 year olds in England by 2016.
Why do a pilot?
The pilot is being used to give us information about how we can roll out the programme to everyone at the age of 55. If you have bowel symptoms they you are worried about (regardless of whether you have had any bowel cancer screening), you should go and see your GP.
- NHSBCSP home page
- Programme publications
- About bowel screening
- Why screen for bowel cancer?
- What is the purpose of bowel cancer screening?
- Who is eligible for bowel cancer screening?
- Age extension to bowel cancer screening
- How are GPs involved in bowel cancer screening?
- How much does bowel screening cost?
- How does the screening process work?
- What does my bowel cancer screening result mean?
- How does the FOB test work?
- What is a colonoscopy?
- What are the risks of colonoscopy?
- More information about the
- List of hubs and screening centres
- NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Evaluation Group
- Bowel cancer
- GP Pack (Information for primary care)
- NHS bowel cancer training centres in England
- The English Bowel Screening Pilot
- Evaluation of English Bowel Screening Pilot
- Evaluation of the second round of the English Bowel Screening Pilot
- Use of patient information
- Frequently asked questions
- Bowel scope screening
- Programme news index
- Research in bowel cancer screening
- Useful links