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    Response to VP76 by Her Majesty's Department of HealthThis Government recognises the seriousness of bowel cancer and the Secretary of State and his department acknowledges the call to change the way of how bowel cancer screening works on the NHS. As such, the Secretary of State will confirm to the House that the NHS will be sending out mandatory annual screening kits to all adults aged 50 or over and is optimistic that this will improve and increase the rate of bowel cancer diagnosis at the early stages and thus increase the rate of survival from bowel cancer.
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    How does the Secretary of State intend to make them mandatory?
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    How much does the Secretary of State envision this will cost?
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    How does the Secretary of State intend to make them mandatory?
    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    How much does the Secretary of State envision this will cost?
    Thank you to you both for the questions regarding this statement. However, I would appreciate if you could both tag me in the future if you have such questions such that I can see the questions and answer them as quickly as possible.

    Q1 How does the Secretary of State intend to make them mandatory?
    Bowel cancer screening will be made compulsory such that all adults aged 50 or over who are considered to be "healthy" are expected to complete the test and return the kit for a lab test. Their results will return back in approximately 2 weeks. If the results are unclear, another kit will be sent and if the result is abnormal, they may be referred to see a specialist nurse at a screening centre who will conduct a colonoscopy or the screening centre will let their GP know that they need to see a specialist for treatment and will be referred by their GP. Those who are considered to be "healthy" and fail to complete the test will receive a reminder after which it will not be pursued. Those who are considered to be "unhealthy" for any reason and can't complete the test would be required to contact their GP or the screening centre immediately to let them know. They will then be required to complete the test once they are considered to be "healthy".

    Q2 How much does the Secretary of State envision this will cost?
    At this moment in time, I cannot provide the cost for bowel cancer screening but I will work this out in my SoI.

    (CC: CoffeeGeek, Conceited, Afcwimbledon2, mr T 999)
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    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    Thank you to you both for the questions regarding this statement. However, I would appreciate if you could both tag me in the future if you have such questions such that I can see the questions and answer them as quickly as possible.

    Q1 How does the Secretary of State intend to make them mandatory?
    Bowel cancer screening will be made compulsory such that all adults aged 50 or over who are considered to be "healthy" are expected to complete the test and return the kit for a lab test. Their results will return back in approximately 2 weeks. If the results are unclear, another kit will be sent and if the result is abnormal, they may be referred to see a specialist nurse at a screening centre who will conduct a colonoscopy or the screening centre will let their GP know that they need to see a specialist for treatment and will be referred by their GP. Those who are considered to be "healthy" and fail to complete the test will receive a reminder after which it will not be pursued. Those who are considered to be "unhealthy" for any reason and can't complete the test would be required to contact their GP or the screening centre immediately to let them know. They will then be required to complete the test once they are considered to be "healthy".
    I would hope really that a minister who makes a statement to the House keeps an eye on the thread.

    So in summary the tests will not be truly mandatory, but rather heavily encouraged? If so, I am pleased the government have chosen to implement a more realistic version of the policy, and welcome this announcement.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    How much does the Secretary of State envision this will cost?
    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    Q2 How much does the Secretary of State envision this will cost?
    At this moment in time, I cannot provide the cost for bowel cancer screening but I will work this out in my SoI.

    (CC: CoffeeGeek, Conceited, Afcwimbledon2, mr T 999)
    Jacob did a rough costing on this in the thread so I'll copy and paste it here.

    "A cost of a testing kit for a consumer is £3.50, if the NHS sent out a testing kit to all over-50s the total cost would be £74m to provide testing kits to the 21.3 million over-50s in the population, however, as the NHS would be buying bulk the cost of the kits would be below the rice for the consumer."
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    Will the health budget be increased in real terms to compensate for this extra cost or will the government be forcing local NHS trusts to make cuts?
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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Jacob did a rough costing on this in the thread so I'll copy and paste it here.

    "A cost of a testing kit for a consumer is £3.50, if the NHS sent out a testing kit to all over-50s the total cost would be £74m to provide testing kits to the 21.3 million over-50s in the population, however, as the NHS would be buying bulk the cost of the kits would be below the rice for the consumer."
    What Jacob fails to consider is that the NHS won't be getting it cheaper than your average Joe because of bulk given they will likely be very inefficiently procured, it is also a pure home testing kit where the individual has to do the test right rather than a home test kit as the NHS current provides where the sample is sent to a lab, for this the cost is more like £70 pushing the cost up to £1.4bn before considering NHS inefficiency and before considering that this too will probably overload the labs.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    What Jacob fails to consider is that the NHS won't be getting it cheaper than your average Joe because of bulk given they will likely be very inefficiently procured, it is also a pure home testing kit where the individual has to do the test right rather than a home test kit as the NHS current provides where the sample is sent to a lab, for this the cost is more like £70 pushing the cost up to £1.4bn before considering NHS inefficiency and before considering that this too will probably overload the labs.
    The home testing should be plastic pots with a prepaid postage stamp, a visit to AliExpress returns cheap options.
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    (Original post by Jacob E)
    The home testing should be plastic pots with a prepaid postage stamp, a visit to AliExpress returns cheap options.
    The cheapest I got on Google was £3.65 for a 100% DIY job, and the home testing method currently used by the NHS was only available for £70
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    Thank you for this response, it is nice to know that the government wishes to ignore the contents of the petition.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    I would hope really that a minister who makes a statement to the House keeps an eye on the thread.

    So in summary the tests will not be truly mandatory, but rather heavily encouraged? If so, I am pleased the government have chosen to implement a more realistic version of the policy, and welcome this announcement.
    I do keep a eye on things but it would be helpful if you did tag me in regardless.

    Yes the test will not be truly mandatory but rather heavily encouraged because that wouldn't be realistic.
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    (Original post by joecphillips)
    What if they refuse? What penalty will there be for failing to complete it while healthy? You say required but it seems like it is more like advised.
    There won't be a penalty if they refuse to complete the test. However, if you look at my response to Fez, this won't be truly mandatory but rather heavily encouraged because if it was mandatory it wouldn't be a realistic policy to pursue for this scheme. The idea is that the majority of people would complete the test anyways if "healthy" because they're aware of the possible health risks they might face given that bowel cancer is a serious issue. Obviously for whatever reason that they cannot complete the test, I have made it clear in a previous response of what they can do.
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    (Original post by Saunders16)
    Thank you for this response, it is nice to know that the government wishes to ignore the contents of the petition.
    The government is not ignoring the contents of this petition because we are implementing this petition in practice but we cannot make these tests mandatory because it is simply unrealistic as a policy. Please see my response to Fez for further clarification.
 
 
 
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