Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Screening issued

(04 Dec 2012)

In Autumn 2012 a set of Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Screening were issued to support the national colorectal screening programme. The Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Colorectal Screening are the result of a collaborative process undertaken by representatives of each step of the screening process. The committee comprised four specific subgroups - Programme and Administration; Endoscopy and Radiology; Histopathology; and Surgery.

The National Cancer Screening Service convened an international expert peer review panel last year to examine the plans for the screening programme and the draft guidelines and to ensure the best of international evidence and standards are incorporated into the process.

Majella Byrne, Acting Director of the screening service said: “Similar to BreastCheck, CervicalCheck and the upcoming Diabetic Retinopathy screening programme, quality assurance is paramount and the publication of these guidelines is an important step in advance of the introduction of the national colorectal screening programme called BowelScreen.”

Quality assurance is the foundation on which a successful population-based programme is built. From initial invitation, through screening stage to diagnosis, surgery and treatment, every individual involved in each step of the screening process must adhere to the highest standards set by the programme. Organised population-based screening for colorectal cancer is a complex and a layered process.

Commenting on the guidelines Simon Kelly, Chairperson, NCSS Quality Assurance Committee for Colorectal Screening said: “To achieve maximum public health benefit from a population-based colorectal screening programme, every aspect of the service delivered must be fully quality assured. One of the main principles of developing quality assurance standards is to focus on the delivery of optimal outcomes for all users of the programme.”

The BowelScreen programme will offer free screening to men and women aged 55-74 on a two-yearly cycle. To develop the capacity to cater for the full 55-74 population, the programme will be implemented on a phased basis, starting with men and women aged 60-69. The programme will be expanded over time until the full 55-74 age group is reached.

Is cuid den tSeirbhís Náisiúnta Scagthástála é BowelScreen BowelScreen is part of the National Screening Service
Teach Óstaí an Rí, 200 Sráid Parnell, Baile Átha Cliath 1, Éire King’s Inns House, 200 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Saorghlao 1800 45 45 55 Freephone 1800 45 45 55

Is cuid den Rannóg Sláinte agus Folláine i bhFeidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte í an tSeirbhís Náisiúnta Scagthástála. Cuimsíonn sí BreastCheck – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Cíoch, CervicalCheck – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Ceirbheacs, BowelScreen – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Putóige agus Diabetic RetinaScreen – An Clár Náisiúnta Scagthástála Reitiní do Dhiaibéitigh.

The National Screening Service is part of the Health and Wellbeing Division of the Health Service Executive in Ireland. It encompasses BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme, CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme, BowelScreen – The National Bowel Screening Programme and Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme.