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Return of NHS bowel screening programme welcomed

By Kyle Ritchie

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Plans by the NHS to resume its bowel screening programme after it was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been welcomed by Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.

Screening kits will begin to be posted out again, and people who were sent one before the pause in March, are now being asked to complete and return them.

The programme was suspended after careful consideration of the risks, including for people asked to attend follow-up investigations, such as colonoscopy appointments, as a result of their bowel screening.

Bowel screening colonoscopies have also resumed for those whose test results need further investigation.

A range of additional safety measures have been put in place to allow staff and patients to adhere to physical distancing, staff will wear necessary personal protective equipment and there will be staggered appointments to ensure quieter waiting areas.

The NHS has resumed its bowel screening programme.
The NHS has resumed its bowel screening programme.

Mr Stevenson said: “I am pleased the Bowel Screening Programme will now resume.

“The temporary pause of the programme was one of a number of difficult decisions which was made in response to the impact of Covid-19.

“I would encourage constituents who received a bowel screening kit in March to return it and anyone who is sent one in the coming months.”

Bowl Cancer UK is the leading support charity in the country and is determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by the disease.

Chief executive at Bowel Cancer UK Genevieve Edwards said: “Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer but it’s treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed early.

“While we all clearly understand the massive impact, the pandemic has had on the NHS, getting back on track with screening now will help to save lives, and we urge all over 50s to complete it.”

Visit here for more information on the programme.

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