NHS Cancer Screening Programmes: English Colorectal Cancer Screening Pilot

English Colorectal Cancer Screening Pilot Information Pack

Information Pack in Microsoft Word Document (8.8Mb)

English Colorectal Cancer Screening Pilot Logo

Page 1: What is the pilot?
Page 2: Colorectal Cancer
Page 3: Screening Process
Page 4: Further Investigations
Page 5: Appendix I The Screening Pathway
Page 6: Appendix II Contact List
Page 7: Appendix III Reference List

Please note that primary care involvement includes all staff, including receptionists and practice managers. The information in this pack is therefore aimed to be accessible and informative to all groups, from administrative staff to medical staff.

What is the Pilot?


Evidence from randomised controlled trials of FOB (Faecal Occult Blood) testing demonstrated that implementing colorectal cancer screening can significantly decrease mortality and, in the long term, reduces the incidence of the disease. It is predicted that screening for colorectal cancer in the UK could save as many as 2,500 lives a year.

On the basis of this research evidence, the NHS ran a two year pilot scheme (2000-2002) to screen for colorectal cancer in people with normal population risk of the disease. There were two pilot sites, one in Coventry and Warwickshire in England, and the other in Fife, Grampian and Tayside in Scotland. All men and women aged between 50 and 69, registered with a participating GP in each of these areas were offered screening for colorectal cancer.

The aim of the pilot was to evaluate the feasibility, practicality and acceptability of colorectal screening prior to any decision being made to introduce a national screening programme.

Why has the pilot been extended and what has changed?

An evaluation team has been appointed to carry out a full evaluation of the pilot to assess the feasibility of rolling this pilot out into a national programme. Their final report goes to the Department of Health in February 2003 for consideration.

Initial findings of the evaluation have been encouraging. It was therefore decided that while the Department of Health considers making colorectal cancer screening a national programme, the pilot sites should embark on a second round of screening to collate additional data. Maintaining screening in your area will increase the public awareness of colorectal cancer screening and skilled screening staff will not be lost.

Funding of the second screening round has been secured from the English Department of Health; therefore it is no longer a UK initiative. However, links with the Scottish site remain strong.

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