Bowel screening resumes in Scotland after seven-month pause

Kits will be posted out and those who were sent equipment before the pause will be asked to complete and return it.

Bowel screening resumes in Scotland after seven-month pause Getty Images

NHS bowel screening will resume in Scotland on Monday after a seven-month pause.

Kits will resume being posted out and anyone who was sent equipment before the pandemic-induced halt in March is asked to complete and return it, the Scottish Government said.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Scotland, but the scheme was halted “after careful consideration of the risks”, it added.

Colonoscopies have also resumed for patients whose test results require further examination.

All over-50s are urged to complete the test.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “The temporary pause of adult national screening programmes was one of a series of difficult decisions we have had to make in responding to the impact of Covid-19.

“I welcome the restart of the bowel screening programme, and I would urge everyone who is sent a bowel screening kit to return it – including people who received their kit before the pause in March.

“The safety of patients and staff will be our priority as we continue to deliver the national screening programmes during and beyond the Covid outbreak.”

Genevieve Edwards, chief executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer but it’s treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed early.

“While we all clearly understand the massive impact the pandemic has had on the NHS, getting back on track with screening now will help to save lives, and we urge all over 50s to complete it.”

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