Bowel cancer screening and diagnosis
Margaret Vance, Gastroenterology Nurse Consultant, St Mark's Hospital, London
In March 2020 the COVID pandemic led to a national lockdown and the disruption of clinical services throughout the NHS. Endoscopy units were closed to all but the most urgent of in patients as NHS staff were redeployed to ITU and wards to care for patients with COVID. The national bowel cancer screening programmes, FIT and bowel scope, were halted, leaving participants in the system who has positive FIT tests and a large backlog of participants due for call and recall.
This presentation will describe the process of both ceasing and restarting the screening programme, the clinical governance processes developed and implemented to triage screening patients, identifying those most at risk, and what mechanisms were put in place to protect the screening programme in the future.