Date lodged: 11 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to encourage the uptake of bowel cancer tests among 50- to 74-year-olds, and what its response is to reports that 52% of people in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area who are offered the test do not take it.
Answered by: Aileen Campbell 3 May 2017
NHS boards have responsibility for publicising screening within their local area and for working closely with their communities to increase screening uptake. GPs also play a pivotal role in highlighting bowel screening to their patients. Scottish Government officials meet bowel screening coordinators from all NHS boards on a quarterly basis to discuss a range of issues relating to the national screening programme, including promoting bowel screening services and initiatives to improve uptake.
We are also responding with up to £5million of funding from the Cancer Strategy being invested in our national cancer screening programmes including bowel screening to reduce inequalities and improve uptake, particularly amongst those less likely to participate in screening.
Through our on-going £41 million Detect Cancer Early programme, we aim to increase the proportion of cancers detected at an early stage through raising awareness of cancers, the importance of knowing about screening programmes and the benefits of earlier treatment.
Furthermore, the Scottish Government is committed to introducing the new Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) into the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme by the end of 2017. The new test is considered more user friendly than the current test and is expected to help increase participation in the programme.