Intended for healthcare professionals


Government is “losing its grip” of cancer screening services, say MPs

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 10 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2168
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London, UK

A damning report into health screening has accused the government of “losing its grip” as it revealed that the number of women accessing the cervical cancer programme has dropped to a 21 year low.

The report by the Public Accounts Committee1 (PAC) covers the management of four of the 11 health screening programmes operating in England: bowel, breast and cervical cancers, and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

None of them met targets for ensuring the eligible population was screened in 2017-18.

The House of Commons Committee said that national bodies are not doing enough to make sure that everyone who is eligible to take part in screening is doing so, and do not know if everyone who should be invited for screening has been.

Just 71.7% of the eligible population, or 3.2 million women, …

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