Check out our updated bowel cancer screening standards for 2018

Each of the 11 population screening programmes has national screening standards that ensure stakeholders have access to:

  • reliable and timely information about the quality of the screening programme
  • data at local, regional and national level
  • quality measures across the screening pathway without gaps or duplications

They also ensure a consistent approach across screening programmes and that data collection is beneficial.

Following consultation, we have published updated screening standards for the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP). These revised standards have an implementation date of 1 April 2018.

The revised bowel cancer screening standards online at GOV.UK
The revised bowel cancer screening standards online at GOV.UK

Local BCSP providers should make sure they are familiar with the new standards and read them in conjunction with the national service specifications for the programme (26 and 26a).

The standards provide a set of measures that providers have to meet to make sure local screening services are safe and effective. Data is collected and reported against the standards in order to support health professionals and commissioners in providing a high quality programme.

Thank you to all those who took part in the consultation as part of the review. Where possible, the revised standards take your feedback into account.

What we have changed

We have removed the glossary from the standards publication and now refer to PHE Screening’s central glossary of terms. If you would like to see the meaning of an acronym in the standards, hover over it with your cursor and you will be able to see the full definition.

The updated standards bring together performance indicators from previous programme guidance and publications. We have also developed standards for new areas of the programme such as bowel scope screening, or new standards developed for pathway indicators that were not previously measurable.

The national bowel cancer screening system (BCSS) has been collating good quality data since the BCSP’s inception. This ongoing collation and subsequent monitoring of performance data has enabled us to reassess the expected standards for the programme.

For some standards, performance has exceeded initially expected levels and we have set new thresholds to continue improving services. For others, we have taken a fresh look at the acceptable thresholds to make them more realistic in the light of external pressures on the system.

This has been a great opportunity to take stock of a programme that is now 12 years old and make sure we are monitoring progress and performance right across the screening pathway.

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