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NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Southern Hub in Guildford, Surrey, one of five Hubs in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP), now serves a total population of 15.5 million people living in the south of England. The Southern Hub is hosted by the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RSCH) and operates as part of Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services, a joint venture between RSCH, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Southern Hub provides a service to the population of the NHS England South Regional Team in partnership with 18 local Screening Centres, 52 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), four Regional Offices and approximately 1,700 General Practices.


The Screening Test

Screening is completed every 2 years for individuals aged between 60-74 who are registered with a GP in England.  Those over the age of 74 can contact the programme every 2 years and request a kit to be sent.

The test is the faecal immunochemical Test (FIT) and measures the amount of haemoglobin (blood) present in a faecal sample.  People are automatically sent a test kit through the post, with instructions, when it is their screening due date.  The individual collects a sample of their faeces (poo) into the special collection device and returns it in a pre-paid envelope to the Hub where the sample is analysed.   Results will be sent back to the screening participant via post within two weeks of receiving the sample.


Screening Results

Approximately 2% of those that return a test kit will have haemoglobin detected in the faecal sample that is above a set concentration (120 microgram haemoglobin/ gram faeces).

These people are invited to attend a specialist screening practitioner appointment and in the majority of cases referred for a colonoscopy.

For approximately 98% of those that participate no further tests are needed and the programme will automatically invite again in around 2 years if still within the age range.


Contacting the Programme

The NHS Bowel Screening Programme offers a Freephone helpline for users of the service to seek help and advice on 0800 707 6060.  The helpline has trained staff who can provide advice relating to the bowel screening programme.    Please note Mondays are our busier day so there may be longer than normal waiting times to reach a call handler.

Staff are not medically trained however should medical advice be required then the helpline can arrange for a suitable medically trained individual to call them back.

In addition, users can also email the hub on .  Please ensure that as much information is provided to ensure the query can be handled correctly

For more information, please refer to the website for all current leaflets and guidance.