Could Do (Much, Much) Better

The National Audit Office has just published its Investigation into the Management of Health Screening. Read it only if you are prepared for a good weep.

So much for all the National Health’s promotion of screening. Only 33% of the bowel screening target was met because most GP surgeries were not linked to the system. NHS IT systems are “not fit for purpose”, not least because data are stored in 83 separate centres.

The NHS could not decide how many older women should be screened for breast cancer, and many were missed. The NHS then decided that “women who were contacted following the incident could be considered to have already had their final screen…. ” That’s OK then.

The NHS proclaims huge public benefit from its screening programmes, but the NAO expects much, much more benefit, and much, much less self-congratulation.