The 21/22 DES Specification states that PCNs should:

Contribute to improving local uptake of National Screening Programmes:

  1. Work with local system partners – including NHSEI Regional Public Health Commissioning team & Cancer Alliance – to agree the PCN’s contribution to local improvement plans which should build on any existing actions across the PCN’s Core Network Practices. This must include at least one specific action to engage with a group with low participation locally, with agreed timescales
  2. Support the restoration of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme by identifying opportunities across a network to provide sufficient cervical screening sample-taking capacity

In addition, the QOF QI advises that there should be ‘an assessment of practice screening programme uptake rates compared to local or national baselines. PHE fingertips has an easy to use tool to compare cancer indicators by practice to quickly identify areas for more in-depth audits. Practices should consider how they can include a focus on inequalities in screening in their assessment, particularly for those at risk and with low uptake.’

Screening data can also be found on the CMCA Cancer Dashboard

Bowel Screening Awareness Campaign

CMCA has been running an awareness campaign to promote bowel cancer screening within South Asian communities in targeted areas of Liverpool.

The campaign uses narrated videos and quote cards to urge people from these communities to do the FIT test when they receive one.

There is a toolkit with information, promotional material and links to the videos which can be used by PCNs, GP practices, community organisations and individuals.

Click here to see it.

Screening Resources

Access resources related to screening on the tab below.

Louise Vernon, CHAMPS Screening Initiatives Programme Manager, outlines the various screening initiatives planned for Cheshire and Merseyside. 

the Cervical Screening Reminder Text Messaging Service has now launched, starting with a pilot with Warrington CCG practices. Wider areas can register interest and sign-up to this initiative by contacting

  • A cervical screening toolkit and dashboard, developed by PHE, is available here. This interactive resource illustrates screening coverage and uptake at both CCG and individual GP practice level.
  • CRUK ‘data packs’ also include PCN level data on uptake for bowel, cervical and breast screening. Details of these packs and how to request are in the Getting Started section.

Useful resources to promote screening to known low-uptake groups are below:

  • People living with learning disabilities: easy-read leaflets and promotional videos are here. Photo stories can also be used for patients who are unable to read English or have low literacy.
  • People living with physical disabilities: may need reasonable adjustments. British Sign Language videos about screening from Public Health Scotland can be found here. Specific information on making cervical screening accessible is here.
  • People living will mental illness: more info in this PHE Health Matters blog. A leaflet and a video on cervical screening for people with mental health issues/previous trauma.
  • Trans and gender diverse populations: Trans men assigned as female at birth who have a cervix and/or breasts should still be invited to screening, but can be missed if they are listed as “male” at the GP. More information here.
  • BAME groups:  a video on cervical screening aimed at low literacy/BAME groups can be found here. Phone calls provided by a local charity to breast and bowel non-responders have been found to be useful in some BAME groups.