The Heart of England Foundation Trust’s hospitals have been named as some of the first screening centres for a new NHS Bowel Cancer screening programme. The programme is the first of its kind to be offered to both men and women.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, causing approximately 16,100 deaths every year in the UK with more than 80% of cases occurring in the over 60s. This innovative screening programme hopes to save many of these lives by detecting the signs of bowel cancer earlier in this at-risk group.
Around 99 thousand people aged 60 to 69 will be invited to take part in the Bowel Screening Programme over the coming 2 years, and will be sent an easy-to-use home testing kit.
As screening centres for the programme Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull hospitals will see those patients who have abnormal test results from their at-home testing kit. The centres will provide nurse-led clinics, support and information on bowel cancer and the screening process to these referred patients as well as carrying out colonoscopies (internal camera examinations of the colon).
Dr Monz Ahmed, Consultant Gastroenterologist said: “This screening programme is vital if we are to reduce the number of deaths from bowel cancer in 60 to 69 year olds. As the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first screening centres in the UK, our 60 to 69 year old population in East and North Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and South Staffordshire will be some of the first in the country to be asked to take part in the programme.
“This is a great opportunity, so it’s vital that people in this age group understand the risks of bowel cancer, and that this screening programme has been designed to spot it early.”
For more information on the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, call 0800 707 60 60.
Contact Dawn Rathbone at Good Hope Hospital on 0121 378 2211 for more information.