This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Screening targets not met

Written by: | Published:

There were also delays in cervical screening resul There were also delays in cervical screening results

Not a single one of the three main health screening programmes in England, bowel, breast or cervical, met their targets last year, according to a report by the National Audit Office.

The report found that, in 2017/18, none of the screening programmes met their standard coverage target, although bowel screening achieved coverage of 59.6% against a target of 60%. All met their lower threshold except for the cervical screening programme which achieved coverage of 72% against a standard target of 80% and a lower threshold of 75%

‘Today’s report paints a deeply concerning picture of the state of screening programmes in England, with missed targets, inconsistent coverage, and aging IT systems,’ said Rebecca Fisher, GP and Health Foundation policy fellow.

‘England currently offers screening for breast, cervical and bowel cancers. Although the overall proportion of cancers detected through screening is relatively low – 6% of all cancer diagnoses follow screening – by detecting pre-cancerous changes, or early stage cancers, screening saves lives. For example, evidence suggests that screening currently prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths; this could increase to 83% if everyone who is eligible attended.

There were also delays in cervical screening results reaching half of women tested, with a backlog of nearly 100,000 samples. Bowel screening performed best, narrowly missing its 60% target.

‘The public should be encouraged to attend screening, but they must be able to trust the quality of the services they are being offered,’ added Dr Fisher. ‘Today’s report highlights an urgent need for investment in the IT and equipment required to make improvements. Policymakers must also consider how to most efficiently run screening programmes to ensure that these potentially life-saving services are equally available right across the country.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.