Key documents - National Bowel Screening Programme

Key documents held by the Ministry of Health relating to the implementation of the National Bowel Screening Programme will be made available here throughout the life of the programme.

Some information in the following documents has been withheld under one or more of the following sections of the Official Information Act:

  • 9(2)(a) to protect the privacy of natural persons
  • 9(2)(f)(iv) to maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect the confidentiality of advice tendered by Ministers of the Crown and officials
  • 9(2)(j) to enable a Minister of the Crown or any department or organisation holding the information to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations
  • out of scope.

If you have difficulty accessing these documents please contact us by email at: bowelcancerteam@moh.govt.nz


Ministry documents

National Screening Solution Business Case

March 2019: In 2016, Cabinet delegated authority to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health to approve National Bowel Screening Programme Business Cases. This is the Business Case for the National Screening Solution. It sets out how the Ministry will spend the contingency funding set aside in Budget 2016, and therefore updates and adds to the National Bowel Screening Programme Business Case approved in August 2016.

Colonoscopy Diagnostic Wait Time Indicator 3 Month Trend to September 2018

November 2018: The colonoscopy wait time indicators (CWTI) record the percentage of patients receiving an urgent colonoscopy within 14 days or less (target 90 percent), the percentage of patients receiving a non-urgent colonoscopy within 42 days or less (target 70 percent), and the percentage of patients receiving a surveillance colonoscopy within 84 days or less (target 70 percent) by district health board. The Ministry of Health considers CWTI as part of its assessment of district health board’s readiness to join the National Bowel Screening Programme.

National Bowel Screening Programme 2017/18 Business Case 

October 2018: In 2016, Cabinet delegated authority to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health to approve National Bowel Screening Programme Business Cases. This is the 2017/18 Business Case. It updates and adds to the National Bowel Screening Programme Business Case approved in August 2016.

Colonoscopy Diagnostic Wait Time Indicator 3 Month Trend to June 2018

October 2018: The colonoscopy wait time indicators (CWTI) record the percentage of patients receiving an urgent colonoscopy within 14 days or less (target 90 percent), the percentage of patients receiving a non-urgent colonoscopy within 42 days or less (target 70 percent), and the percentage of patients receiving a surveillance colonoscopy within 84 days or less (target 70 percent) by district health board. The Ministry of Health considers CWTI as part of its assessment of district health boards readiness to join the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Review of Invitation Issues Following Address Update – Bowel Screening Pilot Programme

September 2018: The publication details the circumstances that led to a group of people eligible for the Bowel Screening Pilot who were not invited when their addresses were updated on the Bowel Screening Pilot register.

Consideration of the potential equity impacts for Māori of the age range for screening

June 2018: This paper examines the potential equity impacts for Māori of the age range for screening.

Age Range and Positivity Threshold 

March 2017: This document sets out the age range and positivity threshold (the threshold which will trigger a positive test result) which have been set for the National Bowel Screening Programme, and explains the decision making processes and evidence behind them.

National Bowel Screening Programme Benefits Realisation Plan V1.0

April 2017: The Ministry has produced a benefits realisation plan for the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) that lists the benefits of the NBSP, describes how the benefits will be measured and provides the dates of when the benefits will be measured. The NBSP Benefits Realisation Plan will help provide information to show the health outcomes for New Zealanders.

Programme Business Case & Tranche 1 Business Case National Bowel Screening Programme

August 2016: This Business Case was approved by Cabinet and sets out the justification, proposed approach, timing and cost of procuring a national bowel screening programme and also sets out the local context, proposed approach, timing and costs for the first implementation phase of the national bowel screening programme.


Health Reports

HR20181131 National Screening Solution Business Case

March 2019: This Health Report seeks the approval of the National Bowel Screening Programme’s National Screening Solution Business Case from the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health. Approval from both Ministers enabled the Ministry draw down contingency funding set aside in Budget 2016.

Call against National Bowel Screening Programme Business Case tagged contingency 2017/18

October 2018: This is a Health Report seeking the approval of the 2017/18 National Bowel Screening Programme Business Case from the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health.

Independent Assurance Review for the National Bowel Screening Programme

July 2018: This Health Report provided information to the Minister of Health about the final report and recommendations of the Independent Assurance Review for the National Bowel Screening Programme.

NBSP Minister’s meeting 11 June 2018

June 2018: Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Minister of Health regularly met Ministry officials to discuss the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is the June 2018 Health Report.

Coding issues

May 2018: This Health Report provided an update to the Minister of Health about coding issues in the bowel screening pilot.

NBSP Minister’s meeting 30 April 2018

April 2018: Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Minister of Health regularly met Ministry officials to discuss the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is the April 2018 Health Report.

Meeting with NZ Society of Gastroenterology

April 2018: This Health Report briefed the Minister prior to a meeting with Associate Professor Michael Schultz, President of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Invitation issues

April 2018: This Health Report provided an update to the Minister of Health about the invitation issues in the bowel screening pilot.

NBSP Minister’s meeting 19 March 2018

March 2018: Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Minister of Health regularly met Ministry officials to discuss the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is the March 2018 Health Report (there was no February meeting).

Advice on independent expert reviewers

February 2018: These Health Reports provided advice to the Minister of Health about potential reviewers to sit on the Independent Assurance Review for the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Independent Assurance Review for the National Bowel Screening Programme and further information on the ‘address override’ issue

February 2018: This Health Report provided further information to the Minister of Health about how potential participants in the bowel screening pilot had not been invited, and discussed the commissioning of the Independent Assurance Review for the National Bowel Screening Programme.

NBSP Minister’s meeting 30 January 2018

January 2018: Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Minister of Health regularly met Ministry officials to discuss the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is the January 2018 Health Report.

NBSP Timeline

January 2018: The Ministry of Health provided the Minister of Health with a briefing outlining the timing of the NBSP implementation.

NBSP Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) and Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

January 2018: The Ministry of Health provided the Minister of Health with a briefing explaining the two tests available for bowel screening and why the FIT was chosen.

Copy of Accenture and EY (IT) Reports

December 2017: The Ministry of Health provided the Minister of Health with copies of two independent reports about information technology (IT) systems to support the development of the NBSP National Screening Solution. The reports were provided as attachments.

Cabinet Paper – National Bowel Screening Programme Extension of Capital Contingency

December 2017: A Health Report drafted by Ministry officials to Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health. This report provided a Cabinet paper to be signed and submitted to the Cabinet Business Committee (CBC) for their consideration on 20 December 2017.

NBSP Minister’s meeting 4 December 2017

December 2017: Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Minister of Health regularly met Ministry officials to discuss the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is the December 2017 Health Report.

Withdrawal of eligible people in the bowel screening pilot

November 2017: This Health Report provided the first update to the Minister of Health and further information about the eligible participants in the bowel screening pilot who had not been invited to participate.

NBSP Operational Matters

November 2017: In November 2017, the Ministry of Health provided the Minister of Health with a comprehensive briefing about the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Bowel screening pilot’s incorrect withdrawal of eligible people

November 2017: This Health Report told the Minister of Health that some eligible participants in the bowel screening Pilot had not been invited to participate.

Briefing on NBSP for Morning Report on 1 November 2017

October 2017: This Health Report provided an overview of the National Bowel Screening Programme to the Minister of Health ahead of an interview on Morning Report (Radio New Zealand).

Cabinet Paper – National Bowel Screening Programme Progress

March 2017: A Health Report drafted by Ministry officials to Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health. This report provided a Cabinet paper to be signed and submitted to the Cabinet State Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 22 March 2017.

Cabinet Paper - National Bowel Screening Programme Extension of Capital Contingency

February 2017: A Health Report drafted by Ministry officials to Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health. This report provided a Cabinet paper to be signed and submitted to the Cabinet State Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 8 February 2017.

Key points Cabinet Paper - Bowel Screening in New Zealand - Next Steps

August 2016: A Health Report drafted by Ministry Officials to Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health. This report provided a Cabinet paper to be signed and submitted to the Cabinet Sate Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 24 August 2016.

Progress towards a National Bowel Screening Programme for New Zealand

November 2015: A Health Report drafted by Ministry Officials to Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health. This report provided a Cabinet paper on consultation on a national bowel screening programme to be signed and submitted to the Cabinet Social Policy Committee for their consideration on 2 December 2015.


Cabinet Papers

Cabinet Paper – National Bowel Screening programme Extension of Capital Contingency

December 2017: The Cabinet Business Committee (CBC) paper presented by Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health on 20 December 2017. This Cabinet paper sought agreement to extend the Budget 2016 capital contingency until December 2018, and noted the information technology procurement process.

Budget 2017: Cost Benefit Analysis Template

Public Sector Agencies are required to complete Cost Benefit Analysis Templates as part of the Budget process for the Treasury. This document organises key information in a logical and methodical way. A Cost Benefit Analysis measures the impact of a decision on the public at large. This is the Budget 2017 submission for the National Bowel Screening Programme.

National Bowel Screening Programme Progress

March 2017: A Cabinet paper presented by Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health presented to Cabinet Sate Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 22 March 2017. This paper provided a progress update on implementing the National Bowel Screening Programme and sought approval to extend the development of the national information technology solution for up to a year.

National Bowel Screening Programme Extension of Capital Contingency

February 2017: A Cabinet paper presented by Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health presented to Cabinet Sate Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 8 February 2017. This paper sought approval to extend the Budget 2016 capital contingency until February 2018.

Cabinet Paper: Bowel Screening in New Zealand - Next Steps

August 2016: A Cabinet Paper presented by Hon Dr Jonanthan Coleman, Minister of Health to the Cabinet Sate Sector Reform and Expenditure Control Cabinet Committee (SEC) for their consideration on 24 August 2016. This paper sought committee approval of the Business Case for a national bowel screening programme and the time frames required for a full national roll-out.

Progress towards a national bowel screening programme for New Zealand

November 2015: A Cabinet Paper presented by Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health to the Cabinet Social Policy Committee for their consideration on 2 December 2015. This paper asked the Committee to note the outcomes of health sector consultation on a national bowel screening programme and the Ministry of Health is preparing a business case which will be submitted to Ministers in February 2016 as part of final Budget 2016 considerations.


Cabinet minutes

Budget Initiative Summary Template: National Bowel Screening Programme

October 2018: Public Sector Agencies are required to complete Budget Initiative Summary Templates as part of Budget process for the Treasury. This document is a high level summary of of the National Bowel Screening Programme initiative included in Budget 2016.

Cabinet Business Committee Minute National Bowel Screening programme Extension of Capital Contingency

December 2017: A copy of the Cabinet Business Committee (CBC) Minute dated 20 December 2017 approving Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health’s request to extend the Budget 2016 capital contingency until December 2018.

National Bowel Screening Programme Extension of Capital Contingency

February 2017: A copy of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee (SOC) Minute dated 8 February 2017 approving Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health request to extend the Budget 2016 capital contingency until February 2018.

National Bowel Screening Programme Progress

March 2016: A copy of the Cabinet Minute

Cost Benefit Analysis Template: National Bowel Screening Programme

October 2015: Public Sector Agencies are required to complete Cost Benefit Analysis Templates as part of the Budget process for the Treasury. This document organises key information in a logical and methodical way. A Cost Benefit Analysis measures the impact of a decision on the public at large.

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