Speak to a member of our Information Support Team
(Call-back service – 24h answer machine)

020 8973 0011

or email
Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Raising Awareness


Bowel Cancer - Screening

Well, I've found out that GP practices receive details of patients who fail to return their screening kits. About 44% of over 60's (in England) fail to complete the test. Given that around 40,000 new cases will be identified in the UK every year and that 16,000 will die from bowel cancer it seems to me that screening saves lives.

I have contacted my GP and asked whether they do any follow-up of non-responders. He admitted that they don't, but following my email they have now started to do so.

I just wondered if anyone else out there would like to check whether their GP surgeries follow up on this information. Here is a link to a document that has suggested approaches to contacting patients (Page 10 and 11).

If we could all have a go at this, we might save lives! If anyone wants a copy of the email I sent to my GP, please PM me.

Gill :x:

Bear G

Hi @Gill
This is definitely an area that needs attention. I spoke with my GP about this a few months ago and was pleased to hear that the local health authority here has a policy of calling veryone who doesn’t do the screening.
The charity has a lot of work ongoing on 8mlriving screening in the UK, this includes reducing the screening age to 50 from 60 and introducing the better FIT test which should be rolled out at last this autumn.
I’m tagging @EmilyS from the office so she can comment here.


Hi @Bear G ,

It's got to be a good idea hasn't it. Especially reducing the age of screening. It's just that so many people feel uncomfortable with 'bowel issues' and it doesn't get talked about enough.

Gill :x:


Hello @Gill I will ask my GP about this and good your GP agreed to introduce follow-up. As we often have a closer relationship with GPs who know us well, this could be the best way of improving use of test.


Hi @WendySue . That would be great. Let me know whether they do any follow ups. I think it should really improve uptake of the screening test!

Gill :x::x: