Cancer screening aims to reduce the numbers of deaths from breast, cervical and bowel cancer by:
- finding pre-cancerous signs of cervical and bowel cancer and treating these
- identifying and treating early signs of breast, cervical and bowel cancer, leading to a greater chance of survival and less aggressive treatments
Cancer screening coverage is generally lower in London than the national average, with wide variation between and within CCGs. There is evidence that some interventions can have a significant impact on improving participation in screening, overcoming some of the barriers and inequalities experienced by different groups.
The London Cancer Screening Improvement board was set up in June 2018 by NHSE (London) and the Transforming Cancer Services Team for London. Its aim is “to save more lives and reduce health inequalities through delivery of comprehensive and accessible cancer screening services, and for all Londoners to be informed about and able to access high quality screening services.”
The cancer screening mapping tool
In 2018 information was sought from stakeholders across London and West Essex about local interventions to increase cancer screening participation. Details provided were mapped against screening coverage at CCG level for 2017/18. Data has been refreshed using updated information from stakeholders (requested in September 2019) against screening coverage at April 2019.
The mapping tool categorises local and London-wide interventions for each of the screening programmes as ‘evidence-based’ (likely to increase screening participation i) or as an ‘enabler’ (providing resources to support evidence-based interventions, but not shown on their own to have a significant impact on increasing screening rates).
Information is based on stakeholder feedback, and in some cases this may be incomplete or have changed since responses were received. As yet, it is too early to assess whether the implementation of interventions has had an impact on screening coverage over time.
The purpose of this tool is to share the range of interventions (and ultimately outcomes) with stakeholders, so that delivery can be optimised with resources targeted where they are most needed in order to increase overall coverage and to reduce inequalities between different populations.