Date lodged: 4 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether improved bowel cancer screening techniques in NHS Ayrshire and Arran are leading to longer waiting times for colonoscopies following positive screening results.
Answered by: Aileen Campbell 29 May 2018
NHS Boards are responsible for planning and delivering bowel screening services to meet the needs of their local population.
The new FIT bowel screening test was introduced in November last year. It is a much more user friendly test and as a result the bowel screening programme is seeing an increase in participation. Since its introduction all NHS Boards are seeing an increase in demand for colonoscopies. This increase was identified as part of implementation and all NHS Boards were made aware of the projected increase in advance of introduction of the new test to allow for local planning.
The time from bowel screening test result to date colonoscopy performed is a key performance indicator for the National Bowel Screening Programme and is monitored closely.
Latest published cancer waiting times data for Ayrshire & Arran shows that in Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2017, 13 patients were treated for colorectal cancer following USC referral from the bowel screening programme, all of whom were treated within 62 days.