Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

NHS DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY: Screening programme suspension due to COVID-19

As a result of the COVID-19 situation, the Scottish Government has taken the decision to temporarily pause the following screening programmes until further notice:

  • Breast Screening (mammograms)
  • Cervical Screening (smear tests)
  • Bowel Screening (home test kits)
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening (ultrasound of abdomen)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (Eye) Screening (images taken of the eye)

This national decision has been taken due to the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 and its associated impact on clinical services as well as the requirement for social distancing.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has stopped inviting people for these screening tests and no more tests will be carried out until further notice.

Pregnancy and Newborn Screening Programmes, offered during pregnancy and just after birth, will continue where practical.

Anyone who has been screened recently will have their results processed as normal.

Bowel Screening Kits

Anyone with a bowel screening test kit which has not been used is asked to keep it safe until the programme restarts. Once testing resumes, the test kit can be used and sent back as normal. Anyone who has already completed the bowel screening kit should return it in the envelope provided with the kit.

Anyone waiting for a colonoscopy appointment will be contacted directly.

When Screening Programmes restart

Screening programmes will restart as soon as possible. The situation with COVID-19 will be reviewed regularly.

When screening restarts, invitations will be issued and appointments rearranged. Screening invitations and appointments will be prioritised appropriately.

Be Symptom Aware

Between screening appointments, everyone should be aware of any symptoms or signs of the conditions being screened for.

The Screening Conditions pages on NHS Inform (https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/screening) give details of the symptoms to look out for. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their GP practice.