Bowel Cancer Screening

We participate the the national Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. This initiative means tests are available every two years to all anyone aged 56 to 74. People who are over 74 can request a home-screening kit over the phone by calling 0800 707 60 60.

People in this age group will automatically be sent an invitation through the post, then their screening kit so they can complete the test in the comfort of their own home. GPs will provide contact details for all patients and it is therefore very important that they are kept up to date with any changes.

The screening initiative aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms, when treatment is likely to be more effective.

The screening is initially via a home test via a FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) kit which looks for hidden blood in stools. This does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will give an indication as to whether the patient is in need of further examination, which is done by a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a colonoscope or scope, to look inside your rectum and colon.

Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps, which are abnormal growths that aren’t cancerous but may become do over time. They can be removed during a colonoscopy potentially preventing patients going on to develop cancer.



Bowel Cancer Screening begins with a simple test that can be carried out at home using a kit that is sent to individual patients. If the test reveals anything unusual then further tests can be carried out in hospital by a consultant or specialist nurse.

City and Sandwell hospitals have a team of specialists who hold clinics for patients whose home tests have shown positive. Patients are assessed for their suitability for a colonoscopy – a tiny video camera on a thin flexible tube which is inserted into the back passage under local anaesthetic. This allows the consultant or specialist nurse to see directly if there are any abnormal growths.

A colonoscopy clinic is run once a week at City Hospital, twice a week at Sandwell Hospital and once a week at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

If you wish to have your colonoscopy pre-assessment appointment by telephone you can request this by calling 0800 707 60 60.



Bowel Cancer Screening Clinics

City Hospital
Pre-assessment clinics – Monday/Tuesday/Friday – mornings only.
Colonoscopy lists – Monday/Tuesday – mornings only.


Sandwell Hospital
Pre-assessment clinics – Monday/Wednesday/Thursday – mornings only.
Colonoscopy lists – Wednesday – all day and Thursday – afternoons only.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Pre-assessment clinics – Monday/Tuesday – mornings only, and Friday – afternoons only.
Colonoscopy lists – Tuesday – all day and alternate Saturdays – all day.

Patient information videos

Please click on the link below to watch a film about how to use a bowel cancer screening kit.

Foreign language versions of the video are available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Portuguese and Urdu.


City Hospital:
Telephone: 0121 507 6002

Sandwell Hospital:
Telephone: 0121 507 3185

Queen Elizabeth Hospital:
Telephone: 0121 371 6993

National freephone helpline:
0800 707 60 60 (for kit requests or other queries)

For more information about disabled access for this service

Click here