Bowel Screening

NCL Wide

The UCLH bowel screening centre sees all patients registered with an NCL GP who return a positive faecal immunochemical test (FIT). A colonoscopy, or CT colonography, is arranged at UCLH.

A small number of patients are reluctant to go to UCLH due to the distance from their home. In these cases, GPs are asked to make a local symptomatic referral on the suspected cancer pathway. 

The bowel screening centre is unable to make direct onward referrals and is reliant on the cooperation of GPs to ensure patients receive the important follow-up tests. Plans are underway to increase direct referral options in NCL.

Contact if you have queries.

Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

The Faecal Immunochemical Test (also known as the FIT kit) is a modern and effective screening test, aiming to detect asymptomatic individuals at an early stage (when treatment is more likely to be effective) and those with polyps.

Evidence suggests that using FIT in the bowel screening programme has increased uptake by 8-10%. Using the kit takes just a few minutes, and is an easy and effective way to screen for early bowel cancer. The initial sensitivity threshold for FIT is 120µg/g.

The FIT kit, along with instructions on how to use it at home, is sent about two weeks after eligible patients receive a pre-invitation letter and information leaflet explaining screening and its possible benefits/risks (see External Links). Once used, the individual posts the kit in its prepaid packaging to a laboratory for processing. 

Results are sent out two weeks after the laboratory receives the completed kit.

About two in every 100 people have a result that has found an amount of blood in their sample above the screening range. These people will be offered further tests (usually a colonoscopy) to look for the cause of the blood. This does not mean they have cancer, but could identify other potential causes, such as haemorrhoids or bowel polyps.

Screening invitations

Invitations (both the letters and screening kits) are sent from a central hub at St Mark's Hospital. Individuals across NCL are sent to UCLH for further investigations if they have a positive result following the completion of a FIT kit. Patients need to have up to date addresses in GP records.

The Bowel Screening Hub Helpline can be called if patients have missed their screening:
t: 080 0707 6060

For more related information, see the Cancer Care Resources section of this website.

Eligibility Criteria


Eligibility for the NHS Bowel Screening Programme is as follows:

  • aged 54-74: invitations are automatically sent every two years to men and women
  • age 75+: men and women can request a screening kit every two years by calling the free Bowel Screening Hub Helpline on t: 080 0707 6060

As of April 2021, there has been a phased introduction to lowering the screening age. People aged 54, 56 and 58 are now being invited for screening. This will gradually be lowered to 50 years of age.

How to Refer

EMIS form

Referral methods: Email

Complete the Test Kit Request Form - BCSP Hub - NCL referral form and email to

Where to find the form

  • Barnet: BAR Global Documents > 2WW Cancer Referral Forms folder
  • Camden: Camden Global Documents > Cancer
  • Enfield: ENF Global Documents > Cancer
  • Haringey: HAR Global Documents > Cancer
  • Islington: ISL Global Documents > Cancer

Service Feedback


News View All

Review date: Sunday, 08 September 2024