KGH marks 10 years of life-saving bowel screening

Staff celebrate the anniversary. NNL-180116-152452005
Staff celebrate the anniversary. NNL-180116-152452005

KGH is celebrating 10 years of providing a life-saving bowel screening service which has found almost 800 cancers.

The trust went live with its first bowel screening patient in December 2007 when it became the screening centre for the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland area as part of a national scheme to introduce bowel cancer screening across the country.

A bowel screening endoscope NNL-180116-152504005

A bowel screening endoscope NNL-180116-152504005

Since starting the programme we have screened 9,151 patients, found 796 cancers, 3,095 polyps (small growths which can become cancerous) and 1,635 patients have been managed under a polyp surveillance programme.

KGH’s clinical director for bowel cancer screening, Dr Andrew Dixon, said: “We have now completed ten years of bowel cancer screening – a service where the UK has led the way for many other countries.

“Bowel cancer screening does save lives. It allows us to identify cancer, or pre-cancerous polyps, early and tackle them.

“Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer and through the programme now all men and women aged 60-74 are invited to carry out a bowel screening test.

“In addition there is now a one-off test called bowel scope screening which is being introduced in England.

“This is offered to men and women at the age of 55 and KGH is expanding its screening work load this year to enable that test to be performed throughout the county.”

KGH now has four endoscopy consultants, two other bowel scope consultants and seven specialist screening practitioners who deliver the screening service.

This year KGH plans to increase its Bowel Scope lists from seven lists a week to ten to enable them to expand the service fully across the county.

This will also include a close working relationship with Northampton General Hospital.

Lead specialist screening practitioner Tania Baldwin said: “I have been here from the start as one of the specialist screening practitioners and I am proud to be part of a service and a team that is instrumental in helping to save people’s lives by preventing and detecting bowel cancer.

“We are delighted that we have been able to further expand our department and provide an even greater service to our local population.”

When KGH was the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR) Screening Centre in 2007, it meant they were managing all Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland’s screening population between Kettering and Glenfield Hospital.

In 2009 they also introduced Bowel Screening at Northampton General Hospital.

In 2014, because of the big screening population in the LNR region, the national office made the decision to split the catchment.

Leicestershire started managing their own screening population and KGH became the Kettering and Northants Screening Centre.

An additional one-off test called bowel scope screening is also gradually being introduced in England.

This is offered to men and women at the age of 55.

It involves a doctor or nurse using a thin, flexible instrument to look inside the lower part of the bowel. 

In 2014 KGH was the first screening centre in the Midlands and East region to offer screening for over 55s with the one-off bowel scope test.

KGH started with one bowel scope list a week then gradually built up to seven lists a week by January 2016.

Since the Bowel Scope roll out they have had more than 8,000 people attending, found 13 cancers and 243 polyps.

Dr Andrew Dixon has taken over as clinical lead when Professor Andrew Chilton took on the role of medical director.

Tania Baldwin has taken on the role as lead specialist screening practitioner (SSP) to manage the SSP team and Alli Dalziel became the programme manager for the screening service at KGH.