A report, commissioned by NHSE and DHSC, has concluded that the NHS could save thousands more lives every year by making cancer screening more personalised and convenient.
Professor Sir Mike Richard was commissioned by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to make recommendations on overhauling national screening programmes.
The report advocates that patients should be allowed more flexibility on the timing and location of screenings in addition to more work being done to drive uptake through social media and text reminders.
Simon Stevens said:
“I’m grateful to Sir Mike for taking on this important assignment. His sensible recommendations keep all that is good about NHS screening services, while rightly setting out a blueprint for more convenient access, upgraded technology, and progressively more tailored approaches to early diagnosis.
“He is also right to point to the need to align the expert advice offered to the NHS, and streamline and simplify accountabilities for operational delivery.”
The report also calls for:
- Establishing a single advisory body, bringing together the current functions of the UK National Screening Committee on population screening and NICE on screening for people at elevated risk of serious conditions
- NHS England to become the single body responsible for commissioning and delivery of screening services, ending any existing confusion on who does what
Secretary of State Matt Hancock commented:
“After careful consideration, I can announce that Public Health England, our national public health agency, will host world-class scientific and expert advice on screening, building on its current role as host of the UK National Screening Committee. This expert advice will inform the delivery of national screening services by the NHS.”