The review team, led by Professor Amanda Ramirez and Dr Lindsay Forbes from King’s College London, part of King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, has published its proposed approach and is now seeking views from the public.
The review, which was announced by Professor Sir Mike Richards following controversy and public and debate about the benefits and harms of screening and the way these are communicated, has been tasked with overhauling the information provided to people who are invited for cancer screening. Critics have argued that the current information exaggerates benefits and fails to communicate harms in a way that is useful to individuals.
The review team is working with academics, charities, health professionals and the public to establish an approach to developing information about NHS Cancer Screening Programmes that promotes informed choice. Engagement on the approach is already underway – events have been held with representatives of the public, charities and key opinion leaders in the field to explore their views and the review team has already received comments from over 120 individuals and organisations.
The review will now build on this engagement, and is seeking the views of the public on the sort of information that should be provided – as well as how it is displayed.
Professor Amanda Ramirez, Director of the Informed Choice about Cancer Screening review team said: ‘Cancer screening can save lives but it can also cause harms. The choice about whether to have screening is therefore very personal. It is your health, and it should be your choice about whether to have cancer screening. However, this choice needs to be informed. We want people to have their say about what information will be most useful and relevant to them.’
People can have their say at http://www.informedchoiceaboutcancerscreening.org
For further information please contact Emma Reynolds, PR Manager (Health) at King’s College London on 0207 848 4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.