About the screening programme

The Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme will invite all men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 years who are registered with a GP. It is therefore vital that you inform your doctor’s surgery of your latest address so we can send you regular invitations for screening.

Other eligible individuals who are not registered with a General Practice such as prisoners, armed forces, homeless and individuals in long-stay institutions will also be able to participate.

How will the screening programme be run?

All men and women aged between 50 and 74 will receive a Faecal Occult Blood test (FOBt) kit by post to their home address. The kit is completed at home and returned to the national Bowel Screening Centre for Scotland, which is based in Dundee at King’s Cross Hospital.

The centre tests all the completed screening kits and then notifies:

  • all participants of their results
  • all GP practices of positive FOBt results
  • all NHS Boards of positive results requiring further investigations.

If the overall result of screening is positive, then the individual will be referred to their local hospital for further assessment and may be offered a colonoscopy, if appropriate.

You can find out more about this in Test results: What happens next?

Who is responsible for the programme?

The Scottish National Screening Co-ordinator based within National Services Division [NSD] has a responsibility to monitor and co-ordinate the screening programme on behalf of NHS Scotland.

NHS Boards are responsible for providing:

  • pre-assessment for colonoscopy
  • colonoscopy
  • collection of clinical data on all bowel screening referrals
  • annual reports on the performance of bowel screening in their area
  • support and publicity to encourage uptake.