More patients with learning disabilities take up bowel cancer screening with support

More people with learning disabilities in the North East and Cumbria are taking up bowel cancer screening thanks to a local project aimed at improving their access to cancer services.

Nearly 30% more people with learning disabilities have taken up bowel screening since the initiative started, providing them with the specialist help and support they need to make clear choices about their participation in screening. It was launched by the North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network, local GPs, the NHS bowel cancer screening hubs and community-based learning disability teams, and is part of a wider commitment to improve NHS cancer services in the region for people with learning disabilities.

Research indicates that people with learning disabilities have poorer general health, and are more likely to younger than the general population. Their uptake of cancer screening is lower and they have a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer.