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Review calls on nursing staff to offer ideas to improve cancer screening services

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A professor leading a review into national cervical, breast and bowel examination schemes has called for nurses and other staff members to give ideas and views to help inform recommendations for the future of cancer screenings.

The overhaul of cancer screenings has been launched today following an announcement from NHS England in November last year, which revealed that Professor Sir Mike Richards would be leading the review.

“I am keen to hear views from as many people as possible about the strengths, challenges and opportunities”

Mike Richards

In wake of its official launch, Sir Mike has said he wants to hear of the “strengths, challenges and opportunities” from staff, patients and other groups to help inform recommendations for cancer screening services.

As previously reported by Nursing Times, the review will consider what can be learnt from mistakes made in the past which saw nearly 50,000 women miss out on information regarding cervical cancer tests between January and June last year and 450,000 older women not being invited to their final routine breast cancer screeing over an eight-year period.

Sir Mike, NHS’ first cancer director and is the former CQC chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Screening is vital for the NHS to catch cancers earlier and save even more lives.”

“I am keen to hear views from as many people as possible about the strengths, challenges and opportunities, all of which will be invaluable in my recommendations for the future,” he added.

The review will make a series of recommendations to the NHS England board about the future delivery of cancer screening programmes.

Sir Mike is therefore seeking feedback on a number of areas which include:

  • Future management, delivery and oversight of screening programmes
  • How to ensure maximum screening uptake across the country and particularly in vulnerable and minority groups
  • Opportunities for the use of AI and other technology to help with cancer screening
  • Feedback on current and future IT and equipment
  • Having the right number of staff with the right training to deliver the programmes
  • Views on what screening should look like in 10 years’ time 

NHS England, who asked Sir Mike to carry out the independent review, have said the overhaul of cancer screening comes as part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed drive to improve care and save lives.

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

Source: Guzelian

Mike Richards

Early detection of cancer, while the condition is easier to treat, is central to the plan which aims to prevent tens of thousands more deaths each year, the health service noted.

Under the review, Sir Mike will recommend how services should be upgraded to ensure the screening programmes remain world leading and that patients benefit from new technologies and treatments.

According to NHS England the review is expected to be published by summer 2019.

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