Bowel screening resources

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Here you can find resources and examples of good practice that can support you to plan and deliver bowel screening improvement activity at a local level. 

A growing evidence base has highlighted many interventions that increase uptake of bowel screening, which is currently low, while promoting informed consent.

If you are aware of, or are involved in, projects that could provide further evidence of good practice to support local teams or looking to improve screening uptake and reduce inequalities, please email us at earlydiagnosis@cancer.org.uk.

Our Primary Care good practice guides provide support to health professionals in primary care to get them thinking about how they can support their practice population to increase bowel screening uptake. 

These guides offer an overview of the bowel screening programme, some practical tips and templates such as GP template letters and phone call scripts.

English version

Scottish version 

Welsh version

Bowel screening uptake is lower than other national cancer screening programmes, and there are considerable inequalities between areas and across different demographic groups.

Uptake is lower in men and people from more deprived groups. Evidence suggests that uptake is also lower in ethnic minority communities or people from an ethnic minority background [1] and vulnerable groups, such as those with learning disabilities, although gaps in data availability persist. 

Taking part in screening is an individual choice, but it must be a choice that is equally available to all. 

We believe it is crucial to reduce inequalities in bowel screening uptake and as a minimum ensure that interventions do not exacerbate inequalities. CRUK has developed a guide that offers practical tips to help reduce inequalities, as well as signposting to further resources and information. The guide is currently being reviewed but you can download the latest version here.

The "Making reasonable adjustments to cancer screening" report from Public Health England (PHE), shares examples of adjustments – including easy read resources and case studies – which health professionals and carers can use to help people with learning disabilities take part in all three cancer screening programmes.

PHE’s Improving Health and Lives Observatory (IHAL) has a database of examples of reasonable adjustments, which is constantly updated. If you have adjustments you’d like to share you can upload them to the database, more information can be found on the IHAL website here.

References:

1.    Hirst, Y et al. (2018) Uptake of the English Bowel (Colorectal) Cancer Screening programme: an update 5 years after the full roll-out. European Journal of Cancer 103:267-73

A step-by-step infographic on how to complete the bowel cancer screening test kit and practical tips how to collect the poo sample.

England FIT version

Scotland FIT version

Wales FIT version (English only)

These leaflets are sent with invitations to bowel cancer screening and they include information to support informed choice with respect to bowel screening participation, and information about benefits and harms.

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BSCP) resources

Health Professional Engagement Facilitators

CRUK facilitators provide face-to-face, practical support to GP practices to improve cancer outcomes. They can work collaboratively with your practice; offering advice, training and useful resources. The CRUK facilitator programme does not operate in every locality in the UK, however, they do cover most of England and the more urban areas of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

Talk Cancer: Cancer Awareness Training

Our Talk Cancer training workshops for community-based health workers and volunteers, help trainees feel more confident in talking to the public about cancer.

 

Cancer Awareness Roadshow

Our Roadshow nurses visit local communities, raising awareness of cancer risk factors, screening and early detection. We work closely with health partners in each area we visit and help signpost people to local services.

Use our Local Cancer Statistics tool to find and compare statistical information and intelligence about cancer in areas across the UK.

The tool includes data on; bowel cancer screening, cancer incidence, survival and mortality, early diagnosis and tobacco.

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