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  • New website brings together primary care resources for Wales

    New website brings together primary care resources for Wales

    Monday, 20 November 2017 16:05
  • HPV jab could mean only three cervical screens in a lifetime

    HPV jab could mean only three cervical screens in a lifetime

    Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:58
  • Oral Mouth Cancer Awareness campaign’s ‘Blue Wednesday’ is today

    Oral Mouth Cancer Awareness campaign’s ‘Blue Wednesday’ is today

    Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:48
  • PHE updates malaria prevention guidelines for UK travellers

    PHE updates malaria prevention guidelines for UK travellers

    Tuesday, 14 November 2017 19:03
  • Become an Antibiotic Guardian in World Antibiotic Awareness Week

    Become an Antibiotic Guardian in World Antibiotic Awareness Week

    Monday, 13 November 2017 11:44

a men women toilet signNovember 13 2017

The guaiac Faecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT) will no longer be the primary bowel screening test in Scotland after November 20. Instead, Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) will be the main choice.

Details of the change have been sent out in a circular from Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. This says that gFOBT “represents technology that is rapidly becoming obsolete”. While it has been used for 30 years, “it is not a direct measure of human haemoglobin and it relies on subjective interpretation of a subtle colour change by laboratory staff.”

The new FIT test will be used as it “can be measured more reliably and is sensitive to a much smaller amount of blood than gFOBT and therefore provides further opportunity to detect and prevent more cancers. It requires a single faecal sample and is more acceptable to those invited for bowel screening.

“A projected increase in screening uptake for FIT of 5 percentage points and a resultant increased colonoscopy demand of 9% is expected following introduction of the new test. Owing to the more specific nature of FIT fewer negative colonoscopies can be expected.”

The test will be offered every two years to people aged between 50-74 who are registered on the Community Health Index in Scotland.

NHS Health Scotland has produced a briefing pack for health professionals on the new test, which is being distributed to all GP practices and other relevant stakeholders. This will include a sample kit for demonstrating the new test to eligible patients. The briefing pack will also be available for download from NHS Health Scotland from November 20.

Information for the public has also been updated, and patients can be directed to https://www.nhsinform.scot/bowelscreening for further information.

Links:
CMO letter SGHD/CMO(2017)15                
NHS Health Scotland ‘Bowel screening’  

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