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Bowel cancer screening — new information for people with learning disabilities

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
Infographic shows the professional guidance and 2 new easy guides. Words say: To support people with learning disabilities, PHE has produced new guidance and easy guides.
Our new suite of resources will help tackle inequalities nationally in bowel cancer screening

PHE Screening has published new information and resources to support people with learning disabilities to better understand and access bowel cancer screening.

Please take a look at the updated easy guide to having a colonoscopy, easy guide to having a CT colonography (CTC) scan and guidance to support people with learning disabilities.

What we mean by easy read

To make our guides easier to read, we write in clear, simple sentences and use photos and other artwork to illustrate each important message. That’s why our easy guides are often used by people other than those with learning disabilities.

Evidence shows that eligible people with a learning disability are less likely to take part in bowel cancer screening compared to those without a learning disability. This leaves them at risk of undetected cancer.

We hope to reverse this trend by working with partners and by producing easy guides. These guides play an important role in helping people to understand bowel cancer screening and make a decision.

More about the new resources

CTC scan easy guide

This can be used by health professionals, family and carers, to explain what a CTC scan involves to people with learning disabilities. A CTC scan may be offered to people who need further investigations after completing their FIT kit, if they are not medically fit to have a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy easy guide

This leaflet explains clearly and simply what a colonoscopy involves to people with learning disabilities. As with the CTC scan leaflet, the content is based on the information in our standard national leaflet.

Professional guidance

The aim of this new information is to help health professionals better support people with learning disabilities to access bowel cancer screening. It covers:

We already have professional guidance to:

Group sat round table looking at draft copies of the easy read leaflets.
We asked experts by experience to help us develop our easy guides. Their invaluable input and feedback was incorporated into the final versions

Partnership working

We developed our 2 new easy guides at a workshop with ‘experts by experience’ from the North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network. These experts are service users who need their information in an easy read accessible format. Involving them and getting their feedback means that some of the people who use the end product were engaged from the start.

We would like to thank Julie Tucker, Macmillan Project Manager for the North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network Cancer Project, her team and the experts by experience for their input.

Please get in touch and tell us what you think of the new resources — we’d love to hear your thoughts.

PHE Screening blog

The PHE Screening blog provides up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

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