Bowel Cancer: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th October 2020.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the backlog of bowel cancer screenings that has developed since those services were paused as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

To minimize the impact on patients and ensure safe clinical practice for the NHS Bowel Screening Programme, NHS England and NHS Improvement prioritised individuals with the highest risk during the COVID-19 response.

All 64 bowel screening centres are now undertaking diagnostic colonoscopies and sending routine invitations. As of 5 October 2020, the number of people who have had a FIT-positive result and are awaiting a diagnostic test has nearly halved in comparison to those waiting in April 2020.

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