BowelScreen launches eight-month, large-scale patient experience survey

Eligible patients invited to give feedback that will be used to evaluate and improve BowelScreen service 

BowelScreen is today (Friday, 29 April 2022) announcing a project that will invite eligible patients to take part in an eight-month long patient experience survey to understand their experience of the national bowel cancer screening programme.

The survey, launched as part of April’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, will be issued to 6,000 eligible people selected from those who have taken part in the BowelScreen programme, part of the National Screening Service.

The purpose of the survey is to gather extensive patient experience feedback. The responses will provide BowelScreen with information on how well the programme communicates; the standard of its services; and help identify where improvements can be made across the programme – including in its 15 colonoscopy units.

The NSS is committed to Patient and Public Partnership by ensuring that BowelScreen services meet the needs of its participants and that they are truly person-centred. To do this we need to understand what it feels like to use our services and what difficulties people face so that we can continually improve the programme.

How will the survey work?

A selection of BowelScreen participants will receive the online survey by SMS (text) message. They will be asked questions about their recent experience of using the FIT home test and their colonoscopy (if they had one). The survey will also test the feasibility of using SMS messaging to capture real-time patient experience. All responses are anonymised.  As this is a pilot project, not everyone who has taken part in BowelScreen will be invited to participate in the survey.

Dr Alan Smith, Specialist in Public Health Medicine in NSS, in welcoming the survey, said, “For the first time, we will be able to capture what our patients think of our services quickly and easily. This positions the patient and the public at the centre of how we design our services now and in the future. The technological platform that we will be using will provide us with data that will drive quality improvements across BowelScreen in the first instance and demonstrate the full potential of capturing patient experience measures in real-time.”

How does bowel screening work?

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the third most common cancer in women in Ireland. BowelScreen – the national bowel screening programme is offered to people aged 60-69 every two years.

BowelScreen offers home bowel screening tests to approximately 250,000 people each year in Ireland. If you are on our register, you will be invited to take your first home screening test between your 60th and 62nd birthday. (Due to COVID-19 some people's invitations for screening have been delayed by approximately one year. You may be 63 when you get your first invitation).

Everyone aged 60-69 years is urged to check they are on the bowel screening register by visiting www.bowelscreen.ieor by calling the Freephone number 1800 45 45 55. Once registered you will be sent an invitation to take part in screening, it will be followed by a FIT test delivered to your home in the post.

Last updated on: 29 / 04 / 2022