To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the roll-out of the national screening programme for cancer; and how many patients will initially be included in that programme.
The National Health Service provides three national cancer population-based screening programmes as part of the Section 7a Public Health services, commissioned by NHS England on behalf of the Secretary of State.
During 2018, the NHS screened 3.2 million women for cervical abnormalities; 2.6 million people for bowel cancer; and 2.1 million women for breast cancer.
The NHS Long Term Plan commits to modernising the Bowel Cancer screening programme to detect more cancers earlier by lowering the starting age for bowel screening from 60 to 50 over time and replacing the guaiac Faecal Occult Blood Test kit with the more sensitive Faecal Immunochemical Test for haemoglobin from summer 2019. It also confirmed that using human papillomavirus testing as the primary screen for cervical cancer will be implemented across England by 2020.