Independent Breast Screening Review: government response

Department of Health and Social Care | March 2019| Independent Breast Screening Review: government response
The Department of  Health and Social Care have published the government’s response to recommendations made by the Independent Breast Screening Review.

The Independent Breast Screening Review looked into an incident in the breast screening programme in England, which resulted in thousands of women aged between 68 and 71 not being invited to their final breast screening. The review published its report in December 2018.

This document sets out the government’s response to each recommendation made in the report. The government has accepted all the recommendations.

Full details from the Department of Health and Social Care

New drive to improve care and save lives

Professor Sir Mike Richards has launched a major overhaul of cancer screening as part the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed drive to improve care and save lives | via NHS England

Early detection of cancer, while the condition is easier to treat, is central to the plan which aims to prevent tens of thousands more deaths each year. Sir Mike Richards, who was the NHS’ first cancer director and is the former CQC chief inspector of hospitals, is leading an independent review of national screening programmes.

He will recommend how they should be upgraded to ensure they remain world leading and that patients benefit from new technologies and treatments.

As part of his work, Sir Mike wants to hear views and ideas from staff, patients and other groups to inform recommendations for the future of cancer screening.

Sir Mike is seeking feedback on a number of areas including:

  • Future management, delivery and oversight of screening programmes
  • How to ensure maximum screening uptake across the country and particularly in vulnerable and minority groups
  • Opportunities for the use of AI and other technology to help with cancer screening
  • Feedback on current and future IT and equipment
  • Having the right number of staff with the right training to deliver the programmes
  • Views on what screening should look like in ten years’ time

Full story at NHS England

Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England | January 2019 |Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England are rolling out the Targeted Lung Health Checks programme as part of their #NHSLongTermPlan to find more cancers quicker. A pilot in Manchester has checked more than 2,500 smokers and ex-smokers.

The on-the spot-scan was received as part of a free health check-it  discovered 46 cases of cancer. Of these, 80% were early stage one and two diagnoses. The pilot quadrupled the early diagnosis rates for lung cancer in Manchester.

The scheme funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups through the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership, was rolled-out across the whole of north Manchester, an area which has the highest number of lung cancer deaths among the under-75s in England. It has proved so successful it is now being introduced across the country (Source: NHS England)

Read the full story Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England press release: NHS to rollout lung cancer scanning trucks across the country

In the news:

Guardian NHS to screen for lung cancer in trucks in supermarket car parks

Review of national cancer screening programmes in England

This document provide details, including the terms of reference, for the review of national cancer screening programmes in England | NHS England

NHS England has published Review of national cancer screening programmes in England.  This document provides details of a review of national cancer screening programmes in England.  An interim report will be produced in April 2019 with a final report in the summer.

Breast screening: leading a service

Information for local providers and commissioners on leading NHS breast screening services | Public Health England

This guidance sets out the principles for the organisation and leadership of local breast screening services.  The guidance is aimed at those who are responsible for making sure breast screening services are managed in a professional and effective way. This involves meeting agreed standards and continually striving to improve performance.

The guidance looks at the following areas:

1.Senior leadership team roles

2.Core management skills for the senior leadership team

3.Organisation of screening services

4.Breast screening service workforce

Full guidance: Breast screening: leading a service

The NHS breast screening programme (BSP) covers the screening pathway from identification of the eligible population to diagnosis of women with breast cancer.

Related content:  NHS breast screening (BSP) programme

Social media boost for breast screening

More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

An NHS project using social media to improve health by boosting digital inclusion has led to a 13 per cent increase in first time attendances for breast screening in Stoke-on-Trent over four years.

The local initiative saw information about screening posted on Facebook community groups, which empowered and enabled women to make appointments by reducing their anxiety around breast examinations. It also allowed them to communicate quickly and easily with health practitioners to ask questions about the screening process.


Through this project, the North Midlands Breast Screening Service promoted their Facebook page on local community groups which their target group – women aged over 50 – regularly visited.

The screening team posted information such as patients explaining about how the screening process works and how it has affected them, and videos showing the rooms where it takes place. Posts were designed to encourage women to share them and so spread the message about the benefits and importance of screening.

The service’s Facebook page also answered questions in the group and by direct messaging, enabling women to book appointments more easily.

Full detail: More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

See also: Social media could help raise breast screening take-up | OnMedica

Bowel screening to start at 50

Public Health England & Steve Brine MP | August 2018 | Bowel screening to start at 50

The independent expert screening committee has recommended that bowel cancer screening in England should in future start 10 years earlier at age 50.

Currently, men and women, aged 60 to 74, are invited for bowel screening and are sent a home test kit every 2 years to provide stool samples.


Following a comprehensive review of the evidence, the committee recommends that screening should be offered from aged 50 to 74 using the faecal immunochemical home test kit (FIT).

The full press release can be viewed at Public Health England 

Related: National Bowel Cancer Audit: The feasibility of reporting patient outcome measures