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Cancer: Screening

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress National Health Service cancer screening programmes have made towards encouraging the sharing of best practice in improving accessibility for all groups. (247103)

National health service (NHS) cancer screening programmes have funded several projects around improving access to cancer screening. These include a digital video disc (DVD) on bowel cancer screening in collaboration with the South Asian Health Foundation and a DVD in sign language. Promotional materials for the bowel cancer screening programme are available on the NHS cancer screening programme's website for local services to rework as appropriate for their local populations. NHS cancer screening programmes have also produced a guidance document, ‘Equal Access to Breast and Cervical Screening for Disabled Women’, which is available on their website at:

A copy has been placed in the Library.

NHS cancer screening programmes are represented on the National Cancer Equality Initiative (NCEI) Advisory Group. The NCEI was set up as part of the implementation of the Cancer Reform Strategy, published in December 2007 (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library), to take forward a series of actions to reduce inequalities in cancer care. The NCEI is initially focusing on optimising data collection to enhance our understanding of the inequalities that exist; promoting research to fill gaps in the evidence; and spreading and sustaining good practice in NHS organisations. The NCEI has undertaken a good practice survey to identify current projects aiming to reduce inequalities in cancer care, including cancer screening. The principles behind undertaking robust projects to reduce cancer inequalities, including examples from the survey, will be issued to the NHS later this year.