Skip to main content

Colorectal Cancer: Screening

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many faecal occult blood testing kits have been distributed by each hub participating in the NHS bowel cancer screening programme; how many have been returned and analysed; how many returned kits were positive; how many individuals were subsequently referred for further investigation; what the take-up rate was of individuals referred for further investigation; how many individuals subsequently underwent a colonoscopy; and how many individuals were subsequently diagnosed with bowel cancer. (130886)

There are five bowel screening programme hubs in England and their activity, as at 26 March 2007, is set out in the following table. It shows: how many invitations have been sent out to those aged 60 to 69; the screening age group, in each hub's local area; how many people aged 70 and over have self referred and opted in to the programme; how many faecal occult blood (FOB) test kits were sent out by each hub; how many of the FOB kits were returned; and how many of these gave a positive result.

Programme hubs

Invitations sent to 60 to 69s

Opt-in over 70s

Test kits sent

Returned kits

Positive results

Midlands and North West (Rugby)

77,573

2,524

71,196

39,064

767

Southern (Guildford)

20,988

311

18,775

10,402

118

London (St. Mark's)

28,579

230

25,407

8,553

199

North East (Gateshead)

21,191

338

15,883

4,992

39

Eastern (Nottingham)

1,086

3

745

77

0

Total

149,417

3,456

132,006

63,088

1,123

All individuals with a positive FOB test kit result are invited to attend a FOB test positive clinic. As of 26 March 2007, 959 people had attended a clinic. At the clinic, a screening nurse assesses the person's suitability to undergo colonoscopy. The number of colonoscopies undertaken was 664, giving a colonoscopy uptake rate of 69 per cent.

The following table shows the colonoscopies broken down by screening centre, as of 26 March 2007.

Local screening centre

Screening nurse clinic attendance

Colonoscopies

Wolverhampton

226

147

Norwich

265

237

Cheshire and Merseyside

174

120

Bolton

3

0

Gloucestershire

18

1

South Devon

92

70

Solent and West Sussex

0

0

St. Mark's, London

108

69

Inner North East London

0

0

St. George's, London

50

20

University College London

0

0

Tees

8

0

South of Tyne

12

0

Hull

3

0

Derbyshire

0

0

Total

959

664

101 cancers have so far been diagnosed, but these cannot be broken down by screening centre for patient confidentiality reasons. 342 patients were diagnosed with polyps which may have developed into cancer over time. Treating polyps has reduced their risk of bowel cancer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of faecal occult blood testing kits distributed since implementation of the NHS bowel cancer screening programme have been returned by (a) women and (b) men. (131016)

The information requested is in the following table as at 30 March 2007.

Gender

Number of testing kits sent out

Percentage

Number of testing kits returned

Percentage

Female

64,665

50

31,997

51

Male

64,548

50

30,834

49

Total

129,213

62,831

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the impact on capacity for colonoscopy services of the roll-out of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. (131051)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Baron) on 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 321W.