The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) recommended the addition of bowel scope screening alongside the existing guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) following a clinical trial and 11 years of follow-up.
Access to services will inevitably be inequitable until bowel scope screening is fully rolled out nationally. Full national implementation will be achieved when all GP practices have been electronically attached (‘gone live’) and all eligible cohorts are receiving screening invitations. Screening centres can mitigate against inequitable access by clustering together a demographically diverse range of practices for ‘go live’ purposes within a defined geographical area. Practice uptake of gFOBT screening also informs the selection of practices to ‘go live’. This results in a mix of live and non-live practices within clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
NHS England commissions bowel scope screening. The Public Health England (PHE) Screening QA Service (SQAS) supports and advises centres on the safe and managed roll-out of bowel scope screening. Most centres expand screening capacity by introducing new screening sites. Subsequent sites need an additional approval process, even if they are already gFOBT screening sites. SQAS and the national programme team lead this process, which mirrors the original approval process.