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Colorectal Cancer: Screening

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase the levels of participation in bowel cancer screening programmes. (320339)

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for screening services, including the promotion of the national health service bowel screening programme. We would expect those areas with low bowel screening uptake rates to develop targeted programmes to tackle this locally.

As the bowel cancer screening programme was implemented in local areas, NHS Cancer Screening Programmes sent out an information pack to all local general practitioners (GPs). As well as explaining how the programme works, the packs contained promotional information, including posters for GPs to use to promote the programme in their own practices.

The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, launched in November 2008, is working with NHS Cancer Screening Programmes on key messages and awareness programmes to improve screening uptake, particularly in deprived groups.