Statement on changes to screening provision

Issued 20th March 2020 and updated 27 March 2020

Statement in response to changes of screening provision in Wales following Covid-19 outbreak

Following the announcement to suspend some non-urgent appointments and procedures, Welsh Government has agreed the recommendations of Public Health Wales to temporarily pause some of the population based screening programmes. This will include the cancer screening programmes, and that: bowel, breast and cervical screening. This situation will be reviewed in 8 weeks.

If you have recently received an invitation to participate in bowel screening, Bowel Screening Wales want you to hold onto the kit for now and wait until services return to normal before completing it and sending it back. Bowel Screening Wales may send you a fresh kit or contact you to re-do your test when the service returns to normal.

The decision to pause cancer screening programmes in Wales is not one that has been taken lightly. But it will mean NHS screening staff can support front line services at this difficult time. It also means that the members of the public can observe the national call for no travel except when it is essential. Screening services will be restored as soon as possible. As screening services are for people without symptoms, it is important that anyone who is worried about possible cancer symptoms contacts their GP. GPs are being asked to increase their use of phone and video consulting so people don’t need to go into the surgery.

It’s understandable that people with possible cancer symptoms may be feeling more anxious at this time. If you or your loved ones would like to speak with someone about emotional support or general advice the following organisations provide support lines. They can help you.