Self-Help: Screening

The new ‘Help Us, Help You’ national campaign launches 20th Feb 2023; encouraging everyone has been sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit to complete the test.

Anyone aged between 60 and 74, living in England and registered with a GP, will automatically receive a test in the post every two years.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and detecting it at the earliest stage makes you up to nine times more likely to be successfully treated yet almost one third of people who were sent an NHS bowel cancer screening test in England last year did not go on to complete it.

The bowel cancer screening kit can save your life. Just a tiny sample can detect signs of cancer before you notice anything wrong.  So, the NHS is asking anyone who is sent a bowel cancer screening test to remember to complete it.

Put it by the loo.  Don’t put it off.  Your next poo could save your life.”

Visit nhs uk/conditions/bowel screening for more information.

The NHS runs a National Screening Programme. This is a programme to find out if people are at risk of a particular health problem so early treatment and information can be offered.

For further information on the NHS screening programme see:

Cervical Screening

Women aged 25 to 64 are offered a smear test to check the health of cells in the cervix. It is offered every 3 years for those aged 26 to 49, and every 5 years from the ages of 50 to 64.

Web Link:

To find out more about the smear test for patients suffering with Learning Disabilities, see the attached easyread guides:



Breast Screening

Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Women over 70 can self-refer.

Web Link:

To contact the breast cancer screening services at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Tel: 0121 335 8050.  Email:

Bowel Cancer Screening

Everyone aged 60 to 74 is offered a bowel cancer screening- a  home test kit will be sent every 2 years.

If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every 2 years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60. For further information, see

NHS Screening advice for trans and non-binary people

Please see NHS Screening advice for trans and non-binary people. It explains about the adult NHS screening programmes that are available in England and explains who is invited for screening.

This information is for trans (transgender) and non-binary people in England.  Public Health England use trans as an umbrella term to embrace the diverse range of identities outside the traditional male/female definitions – including transgender, gender fluid and non-binary.

Screening In Pregnancy

Pregnant women are offered the following types of screening:

Screening for infectious diseases (hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis)

Web Link:

Screening for Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome and Edwards’ syndrome

Web Link:

Screening for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia    

Web Link:                     

Screening for physical abnormalities (mid-pregnancy scan)  

Web Link:

Screening For Newborn Babies

Newborn babies are offered:

  • A newborn physical examination ( includes the eyes, heart, hips and testes)

Web Link:

  • A hearing test       

Web Link:

  • A blood spot test (checking for any of 9 rare conditions)

Web Link:

Diabetic Eye Screening

From the age of 12, all people with diabetes are offered diabetic eye checks to look for early signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Web Link:

For further information on diabetic eye screening in Birmingham, see

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening

AAA screening  is offered to men in their 65th year to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms (a dangerous swelling in the aorta). Men over 65 can self-refer.

To self-refer yourself to the service, please contact the screening team. Tel: 0121 424 3612 / 0121 424 1200.  Email: