2012 Bowel Cancer Symptom Awareness Campaign

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The Department of Health has recently confirmed that it will run an eight week national campaign to promote awareness of bowel cancer symptoms. It is anticipated that this campaign will commence in January 2012 and will incorporate a wide spectrum of media including television adverts and information leaflets being issued to GPs to share with their patients. The scheme was piloted earlier this year, with two separate initiatives demonstrating a 50% increase in patients presenting to their GP during the campaign running time  and an increase of between 34-50% for colonoscopy referrals.
The anticipated increase in referrals and procedures is being considered very carefully to ensure that the resources are available to cope with the demand. Sir Bruce Keogh has written to all NHS chief executives to ask that they prepare for this increase, during and after the campaign period. Sir Keogh’s letter predicts a 5-10% annual increase in activity over the next several years.
The BSG is supporting the initiative and is currently in talks with the Department of Health to help them to plan for the additional demand and to work out how to create a sustainable increase in capacity.