James Frith, MP for Bury North, has called on the government to fully implement new recommendations for cancer screening proposed in a review commissioned by NHS England.
NHS England commissioned Professor Sir Mike Richards, former NHS cancer director and CQC chief inspector of hospitals, to carry out a review of screening services following a decline in uptake. The proportion of women engaging in cervical screening is at its lowest in a decade and breast screening numbers are also dropping.
Recommendations include online booking, out of hours appointments and text reminders to make screening more convenient and boost uptake.
James, who recently signed up to become a Bowel Cancer Champion in Parliament, said:
“I’ve made a number of representations to Ministers over the last two years about cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment services and I’m delighted that Professor Sir Mike Richards in his review is addressing these long-standing concerns.
“Screening can help spot problems early before a person has any symptoms, when cancer is often easier to treat. In some cases, it can even prevent cancers from developing in the first place, by spotting people at risk.
“Full implementation of these recommendations could reverse the decline in women taking up breast and cervical screening and improve screening rates for bowel cancer and should be acted on as a matter of urgency by the government.
“However this review has wider implications. I recently wrote to the Health Secretary about changes which are need to improve pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment. I’m pleased that NHS England have confirmed that the remit of the review will be expanded to include a focus on other screening programmes and diagnostic capacity for cancer.”