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Successful first two years for Bowel Screening Wales

Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Bowel Screening Wales has published a report highlighting a successful first two years of screening.
The programme, part of the Public Health Wales Screening Division, began screening in October 2008 and has published data up to November 2010 showing a 55.2 per cent uptake rate.
Bowel Screening Wales has published a report highlighting a successful first two years of screening.
The programme, part of the Public Health Wales Screening Division, began screening in October 2008 and has published data up to November 2010 showing a 55.2 per cent uptake rate.
 
During the period covered by the report, more than 400,000 people aged between 60 and 69 were invited to take part in the screening programme by completing a home testing kit sent to them in the post.
 
Since then, the age range covered by the programme has been extended to 74 years of age.
 
The report was presented at a successful conference held recently to review the first two years of the programme in Llandrindod Wells.
 
The event attracted more than 130 delegates including Public Health Wales staff and Health Board representatives from across Wales, plus representatives from the Community Health Councils and Bowel Cancer Wales.
 
The bowel screening programmes of the other UK countries were also represented.
 
Dr Rosemary Fox, Director of the Public Health Wales Screening Division, opened the conference by presenting data from the first two years of the programme.
 
Lead Screening Colonoscopists Dr Rhodri Davies and Dr Sunil Dolwani gave presentations on treating complex polyps, followed by presentations on early cancer from Dr Namor Williams, Quality Assurance Advisor for Pathology and Andrew Radcliffe, Quality Assurance Advisor for Surgery.
 
There were updates from the other UK bowel screening programmes, including a presentation by Dr Andy Vietch, Consultant Gastroenterologist at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, on the stage shift in the English screening programme.
 
The day ended with a series of workshops allowing colleagues from the same professional groups to explore specific issues.  The breakout groups included surgeons, pathologists, radiologists , specialist screening practitioners and nurses.
 
Hayley Heard said: “This was the first conference that we have held focusing on the Bowel Screening Wales programme and it was a great success. 
 
Delegates really appreciated having time put aside to reflect on the first two years of the programme and think about the challenges that face us in the future.
 
“Although the first two years of the programme have produced some encouraging data, including the identification of more than 400 cancers as a result of screening, we need to continue to work at increasing the number of people who take up their invitation to be tested.”
 
Bowel Screening Wales is part of the Screening Division of Public Health Wales and launched in October 2008.
 
The programme currently invites everyone in Wales aged between 60 and 71 to complete a home screening kit for laboratory analysis, but this age range will be extended to 74 from this month.
 
Regular bowel screening has been shown to decrease the risk of dying of bowel cancer by up to 15 per cent.  Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK and accounts for the second most deaths from cancer.
 
The report on the first two years of Bowel Screening Wales is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/docopen.cfm?orgid=747&id=182730
 
More information on Bowel Screening Wales is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/home.cfm?orgid=747
 
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