The Ministry of Health is funding a four year bowel screening pilot (2012–2015) in the Waitemata DHB region to inform whether a national bowel screening programme should be introduced. International evidence shows that a national bowel screening programme can reduce both the number of people who develop bowel cancer and the number of people who die from the disease.
This report presents the evaluation findings from round one of the bowel screening pilot, based on those people who were invited to participate during the first 18 months. In particular, the report describes how effective, safe, acceptable and equitable the pilot was and provides a preliminary analysis of the round one costings.
The key findings from the report are that:
- the participation rate in round one was higher than the internationally accepted minimum
- the bowel cancer detection rate was within the range reported by other, international population-based screening programmes that use the same type of test
- participants and stakeholders were positive about their experiences with the pilot.
Several areas for improvement were also identified, including the unequal participation rates among Māori and Pacific peoples and the performance of the bowel screening register and database. Waitemata DHB and the Ministry will continue to address these issues as part of the ongoing operations of the pilot.