Do you have an idea for a new national screening programme that will do more good than harm to public health, at a reasonable cost? If yes, then the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is welcoming your ideas via the 5th annual call for new topics.
Last year's annual call
Last year the UK NSC received 5 proposals in the annual call. Three of these successfully passed the first stage of review (triage), and continue to be considered by the UK NSC. These are:
- screening for fetal presentation in pregnancy (to check on the baby's position at 36 weeks)
- screening school-age children for dyslexia
- screening over 50s for low blood pressure to a part of the brain to detect several conditions, including vascular dementia
The UK NSC commissioned an ‘evidence map’ for each proposal, which is the first step in the review process. These maps find out how much evidence there is.
If there is lots of evidence, then further work will be carried out. This will be shared with the public and the condition could be added to the UK NSC list of recommendations.
What made these 3 proposals successful
First, these proposals were for health conditions which the UK NSC had not considered before.
Second, they target a general population, such as ‘school-age children’ or ‘people over 50’.
Third, the proposals had high-quality evidence to support their idea.
Making a submission
With the above in mind, please consider the following before writing a proposal.
- Are you sure that the condition is not already on the UK NSC list?
- Is the screening programme aimed at the general population?
- Is there a reliable test and effective treatment?
- Is there peer-reviewed literature to support your proposal?
If you answer 'yes' to all the questions above then you may have a strong case for the committee to discuss.
Find out more about the submission process, including the proposal template and guidance. The deadline for submissions is 6 December 2020.
The UK NSC very much looks forward to seeing your proposals.
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.