We know that the earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat, which is why, through the £30 million detect cancer early programme, we have introduced a HEAT—health improvement, efficiency and governance, access and treatment—target to increase the proportion of Scots who are diagnosed in the earliest stages of cancer by 25 per cent, initially focusing on breast, lung and colorectal cancers.
To support the programme, we launched the detect bowel cancer early social marketing campaign in February 2013, which highlighted the national bowel screening programme. That activity was backed by extensive public relations, field and partnership activity. In addition, we have introduced a new two-year primary care initiative to facilitate informed uptake of the national bowel screening programme at general practitioner practice level. Healthcare Improvement Scotland is undertaking a refresh of the Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer.