Bowel cancer screening tests can catch disease simply and early
Read the latest column from Hayley Flavell, director of nursing at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and detecting it at the earliest stage makes you up to nine times more likely to be successfully treated.
We are encouraging people, as part of the NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, to complete the test if they have been sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit.
Figures show that almost one third of people who were sent an NHS bowel cancer screening test in England last year did not go on to complete it, despite a new survey showing that 98 per cent of those eligible for the test agree that the test is important.
Just a tiny sample detects signs of cancer before you notice anything is wrong. The test is simple to complete and can be done in the privacy of your own bathroom.
Anyone aged 60 to 74, who lives in England and is registered with a GP practice will be sent a test in the post automatically, every two years. NHS England is also extending this to include all 50- to 59-year-olds by 2025.
If you are sent a bowel cancer screening kit, please remember to complete it. Put it by the loo as your next poo could save your life. Don’t put it off.
If you would like more information, please visit nhs.uk/bowel-screening.
We are always looking at ways we can train our own staff through a range of apprenticeships and leadership programmes, which helps us fill key vacancies and provide high quality care for patients.
By focusing on our teams, we understand that investing in the development of – colleagues is key to retaining them and their experience.
We offer a wide variety of opportunities for existing members of staff to train on the job, earn as they learn, and climb the career ladder.
Our Theatres department is one area to reap the benefits when the team looked at their recruitment approach and worked to make sure they attracted the right people to the right roles and retained them.
The team began placing more focus on staff development and ‘growing their own’, and now has nearly a full quota of recruits across both our hospital sites.
Some of the opportunities being offered include a trainee nursing associate programme, an operating department practitioner degree apprenticeship programme, as well as assistant theatre practitioner roles.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Reflection which marks the third anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown and the realisation of the magnitude the Covid-19 pandemic would have.
We will never forget the immense loss and we are supporting the National Day of Reflection and the minute’s silence that will be held at noon. Please take time to pause and show support for each other at this time when we remember those that we have lost and stand together with those that are grieving.
This week marks the start of the month of Ramadan and we will be thinking of our Muslim colleagues and those in the community who will fast for the month.
We have two Muslim chaplains who make up a multi-faith chaplaincy team at our hospitals and are there to offer spiritual support and guidance.
If any patients, visitors or colleagues would like a quiet place for prayer please go along to our chapels, where information on Ramadan is available.
We will also supporting our colleagues during this time by ensuring they are still taking breaks during their working day, thinking about the best time to have meetings and holding regular wellbeing check-ins.