NHS screening in London (2)

MQT on 2019-02-25
Session date: 
February 25, 2019
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The National Audit Office report that London’s screening programmes for cervical, bowel, and breast cancer, and abdominal aortic aneurysm, had the lowest number of quality assurance visits from Public Health England of any region in 2017/18. Yet London’s programmes have some of the worst records in the country. Do you know why Public Health England have made so few QA assessments in London?


Answer for NHS screening in London (2)
NHS screening in London (2)

NHS screening in London (2)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This is an important issue, however my powers in relation to the NHS are limited and I have no responsibility for commissioning screening programmes.  The number of SQAS visits to London screening providers reported by the National Audit Office is lower in London compared to other regions because London has a smaller number of commissioned screening providers.

NHS Trusts in London are generally large merged Trusts. In other regions, screening is provided by a larger number of smaller individual Trusts. An SQAS visit to a North East London bowel screening programme may involve visits to three hospital sites but because the hospitals are within the same NHS Trust, this will be recorded as one visit. In another region, it may be counted as three visits, as each hospital is within a different Trust, separately commissioned to provide bowel screening.

The frequency of visits to London’s screening providers is similar to that of visits made in other regions.