MPs launch NHS screening inquiry

MPs will investigate the evidence supporting NHS screening programmes, after an independent review cast doubt over existing checks for early signs of breast cancer.

Breast screening: MPs' inquiry to assess evidence behind checks
Breast screening: MPs' inquiry to assess evidence behind checks

The inquiry by the House of Commons science and technology committee follows calls for screening to be extended to conditions such as prostate and lung cancers.

An independent review in 2012 found that for every 10,000 women invited for breast cancer screening, 43 deaths are prevented but 129 women are unnecessarily treated.

The review has now prompted MPs to investigate the evidence behind screening, so that any future extension to programmes is based on ‘solid science’.

Andrew Miller MP (Lab, Ellesmere Port and Leston) said: ‘The NHS spends a significant amount of money on health screening and it is important that this is underpinned by good scientific evidence.’

He added: ‘Calls to extend screening to other conditions should ensure that there is good evidence that the screening would be effective. We will be examining the evidence base behind the decisions on which illnesses to screen for and will be asking whether we are currently getting these decisions right in the UK.’

The NHS Cancer Screening Programme screens for early cases of breast, bowel and cervical cancers, while the NHS Health Check looks for signs of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The health service also screens for sight loss in diabetics, genetic and infectious diseases in unborn babies and newborns, and abdominal aortic aneurysm in men over 65.

The committee is seeking written submissions by Wednesday 26 February 2014.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...