Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Bowel Cancer Screening

Free telephone helpline: 0800 707 60 60

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

 

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme was introduced across England between 2006 and 2010. In January 2010, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust successfully became a part of the national programme, providing screening services across the county at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Horton General Hospital.

Why screening is important

  • Bowel cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world and the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK (Cancer Research UK, 2021. Cancerstats).
  • About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.
  • Regular bowel screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 percent (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006).
  • Screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when it's easier to treat. It can also be used to help check for and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time.
  • Screening is for people without symptoms. If you are concerned about any symptoms, please contact your GP.
  • Symptoms: bowel cancer - NHS website

Types of screening tests

Home screening test - Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

Everyone aged 60 to 74 who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit - also called a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT).

The test will require you to collect a small sample of your poo and post this back to our laboratories so that it can be checked for tiny amounts of blood (which may be caused by polyp growth and or cancer).

If the test results show anything unusual, we may ask you to have further tests.

If you are 75 or over, please request a home screening kit every two years by calling the free bowel cancer screening helpline.

Free bowel cancer screening helpline: 0800 707 60 60

Instructions come with the kit and are on the gov.uk website:

Bowel cancer screening kit: how to use

Bowel scope screening

Previously, some people aged 55 were invited for a test where a healthcare professional uses a tube with a camera to look inside the bowel. This is called bowel scope screening.

Bowel scope screening is no longer offered.

If you were invited for this test, but have not had it because it was delayed due to COVID-19, you will be sent a home test kit from April 2021.

What the results mean

Most people (98 percent) who complete the FIT test will receive a 'normal' result. A normal result means there was no blood detected.

This does not guarantee that you do not have or will never develop bowel cancer in the future, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.

Symptoms: bowel cancer - NHS website

If you have received a 'normal' result, you will not require any further investigations. We will automatically offer you bowel cancer screening again in two years, until you reach the age of 74.

Around two percent of people who complete the FIT test will have an 'abnormal' result. This means there may have been blood detected. It is not a diagnosis of cancer, but it does mean you will require further investigation.

Some reasons for an 'abnormal' test result may be bleeding bowel polyps, fissures or other conditions, such as haemorrhoids (piles).

If you have received an 'abnormal' FIT test result, we will offer you an appointment with one of our Specialist Screening Practitioner (SSP) nurses.

The SSP nurse will assess your suitability for a diagnostic colonoscopy, which is an examination of the lining of the large bowel (colon) using a tiny camera on the end of a flexible tube, and book your appointment.

The initial appointment with our SSP nurse is a telephone appointment, so please ensure your contact details are up- to-date with your GP. In some circumstances we offer face to face assessment at one of our screening centres.

Colonoscopy investigations take place in the Endoscopy Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital or Horton General Hospital.

Our team

Prof James East

Prof James East
Clinical Director, Consultant Gastroenterologist

Mr Terry Tran-Nguyen

Mr Terry Tran-Nguyen
Programme Manager

Screening Consultants

  • Dr Tony Ellis
    Consultant Gastroenterologist, Colonoscopist Lead
  • Dr Elizabeth Bird-Lieberman
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
  • Dr Rebecca Palmer
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
  • Mr Stephen Boyce
    Colorectal Consultant Surgeon, Clinical Lead
  • Dr Alissa Walsh
    Consultant Gastroenterologist

Nursing Staff

  • Jill Weeks
    Specialist Screening Practitioner Lead
  • Claire Seccull
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Ekaterina Micheva
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Lucy Brown
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Navreet Gill
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Tomilayo Akinsiku
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Nellia Sande
    Specialist Screening Pratitioner

Administration Staff

  • Lewis Charlett
    Lead Administrator
  • Karen Clark
    Administrator
  • Viktoria Kovacs
    Administrator

Contact us

Oxfordshire Bowel Cancer Screening Centre

John Radcliffe Hospital Screening Office: 01865 220087

Horton General Hospital Screening Office: 01295 229834

Monday to Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm

Email: bcsoxfordshire@nhs.net

Bowel Cancer Screening Southern Hub

Free telephone helpline: 0800 707 60 60

Email: rsc-tr.BCSPSouthernHub@nhs.net

Links