MPs brand NHS cancer screening program & # 39; s & # 039; unsuitable & # 039;

Millions of people missed cancer research last year thanks to a system that is losing its grip, according to a damning report today.


Screening programs & # 39; s for colon, breast and cervical cancer were & # 39; unsuitable & # 39; mentioned, with evidence that 3.7 million eligible Britons received no routine checks.

A report from MPs found that all three programs & # 39; s & # 39; consistently failed & # 39; to achieve goals for how many people should potentially undergo life-saving controls.

Sam Ransom postponed her smear for eight months because she couldn't make a doctor's appointment in the evening or at the weekend ¿and then discovered that she had a fast-growing tumor

Sam Ransom postponed her smear for eight months because she & # 39; could not make a doctor's appointment in the evening or at the weekend – and then discovered that she had a fast-growing tumor

They blamed the trust in a "hopeless" IT system, staff shortages that make it difficult to get a doctor's appointment or test results, and a lack of management supervision.

Wait 8 months for a scan that has found an aggressive tumor

Sam Ransom postponed her smear for eight months because she couldn't make a GP appointment in the evening or at the weekend – and then discovered that she had a fast-growing tumor.


When the PA finally had cervical screening, she found the tumor – and showed that she was four months pregnant. She made the painful decision to have an abortion because she only had a 20 percent chance of survival if she postponed treatment until after birth.

Miss Ransom, 34, of Lordswood, Kent, had removed part of her cervix and remained infertile. She said, "I postpone it because of work obligations and doctors who are only open at certain times of the day."

Healthcare campaigners said the "terrible" findings revealed that lives were "lost due to inactivity." They warned that more people will die without urgent investments and change.

The report also found that 1.25 million women had waited too long for the test results last year, with "unacceptable" delays that caused stress and anxiety.

Across England, fewer than three in five women received their results for cervical screening last year in the recommended two weeks, with more than 700,000 waiting longer than three weeks.

MPs in the public accounts committee said that "miserably inadequate" that IT used for screening program & # 39; s "unsuitable for purpose" since 2011.


The current cervical screening program is based on 360 different IT systems, some of which are 30 years old. Public Health England also admitted that the system used for bowel and breast testing was "hopeless." Officials have failed to introduce systems to track all those eligible for testing, and have led a "zip code lottery" in screening, MPs said.

Meanwhile, blunders that meant that hundreds of thousands were not invited to breast or cervical screening were not detected.

Meg Hillier, chairman of the public accounts committee, said: "Millions are not screened for serious diseases such as colon, breast and cervical cancer. Our research has uncovered a health service that is losing its grip on health screening programs. & # 39;

The emergence of cervical screening is at the worst level in 21 years and only 71 percent of the eligible population are aware of their tests. Figures show that more than 1.2 million women did not attend the cervical screening in 2017-2018.

About 3,200 British women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and 1,000 die. Experts say that another 2,000 people would die each year without screening.


The colorectal cancer program has not reached its target of screening 60 percent of the population, with 1.8 million eligible people missing the controls.

Meanwhile, breast screening rates for women aged 50 to 70 have been the lowest since the records began in 2003. Data indicate that nearly 700,000 eligible women did not attend their last mammogram.

The committee said they were particularly concerned about catastrophic failures in the computer system. An IT error meant that between 2009 and 2018, 122,000 women had not received invitations to routine mammograms. Dozens are expected to have died.

Robert Music, CEO of Jo & Cervia's Cancer Trust, said: "We are begging NHS England, the Department of Health and Public Health England to ensure that the necessary investments are available, in addition to the willingness to take change and to innovate.

"If not, we will reach a tipping point and avoidable deaths will result."


Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, described the findings as "extremely worrying." She said, "Lives may be lost due to inaction."

NHS England has instructed Professor Sir Mike Richards to perform screening services, the results of which are expected in the summer.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Social Care said: "We will continue with important changes to detect as many cancers as possible as early as possible."

n Waiting times in cancer treatment are worst since NHS targets were introduced ten years ago, figures reveal.

In the past year, more than one in five patients had to wait two months or more to start treatment after referral from a doctor.


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