National Bowel Screening Programme update

Dr John McMenamin
Dr John McMenamin, GP lead for the National Bowel Screening Programme
The National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) is on track to commence bowel screening in the first three District Health Boards in July 2017. The NBSP will offer bowel screening every two years to eligible people aged 60 to 74 years.

Dr John McMenamin has recently been appointed as the programme's GP lead. This role entails bringing a primary care perspective to planning for the introduction of the NBSP, including primary care readiness activities, as well as assisting with the development of resources to make sure the programme integrates smoothly into general practices.

John is a GP in Whanganui and a Chair of Whanganui Regional Health Network Clinical Governance, has served on a series of working groups related to Bowel Cancer, and is currently a member of the National Bowel Cancer Working Group.

The roll-out of the programme will begin with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs), with other DHBs following in stages over three years. Bowel screening will continue to be offered to eligible people at Waitemata DHB, which will transition from the pilot to the national bowel screening model.

The Ministry of Health is now working with the Counties Manukau and Southern DHBs, which will begin screening in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Tenders closed on 17 March for the National Coordination Centre (NCC) RFP. The NCC’s responsibilities will include managing the register (database), distribution of screening invitations to participants (including test kits), notification of negative results to participants and ensuring notification of positive results to General Practice.

The Bowel Screening Regional Centres (BSRC) have been confirmed. Waitemata DHB has been confirmed as the Regional Centre for the Northern Region, the Midlands Region will be managed by Waikato, Hutt Valley DHB is responsible for Central Region, and the BSRC for the Southern Region is Southern DHB.

The BSRCs will promote the NBSP and support high quality, timely delivery of screening services. They will be part of clinical leadership and support the quality and safety of the programme.

More information about the NBSP is available on the Ministry of Health website.

To receive the Screening Matters newsletter by email, fill out our sign-up form.

Page last updated: 31 March 2017