Skip to main content

Bowel Cancer Screening

The Coventry and Warwickshire Bowel Cancer Screening Centre, based at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), delivers the diagnostic element of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Service for the Coventry and Warwickshire population. The service covers all men and women aged between 56 and 74 registered with a GP within Coventry and Warwickshire.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is lowering the age range of the Bowel Cancer Screening to include 50 to 59 year-olds as stated in the NHS Long Term Plan. For more details about the Age Extension programme, click here.

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme aims to detect cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms, when treatment is likely to be more effective.

Positive Assessment Appointment

In the event of an abnormal FIT result, you will be offered an appointment with a specialist screening practitioner who will explain the results of the FIT test, ask questions about your medical history and offer further investigations, usually a colonoscopy. The Specialist Screening Practitioner will discuss your screening result with you and explain what happens next. If you want to go ahead with the colonoscopy, the practitioner will make an appointment for you. You will also be given the opportunity to ask questions or raise any concerns you may have.
Occasionally a medical reason is identified that prevents the offer of a conventional colonoscopy procedure. Where this happens an alternative procedure will be discussed with you.


This is an investigation that involves looking directly at the lining of the large bowel. A thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera attached (a colonoscope) is passed into the back passage and guided around the bowel. If polyps are found, most can be removed painlessly, using a wire loop passed down the colonoscope tube. These tissue samples are then checked for any abnormal cells that might be cancerous.

A colonoscopy is the most effective way to diagnose bowel cancer. For most people, having a colonoscopy is a straightforward procedure. However, as with most medical procedures, there is the possibility of complications. More information is provided in the leaflet sent to anyone offered this test, or click here for more details.

For people who have an abnormal test result, we offer Specialist Screening Nurse appointments at University Hospital in Coventry, the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, George Eliot Hospital or Warwick Hospital to discuss the option of having a colonoscopy procedure to examine the bowel. The Specialist Screening Nurse will fully explain the procedure to you and assess your fitness for the procedure. If you want to go ahead with the colonoscopy, the practitioner will book an appointment for you.

Bowel Cancer Screening Pre-assessment Clinics

(All appointments are now face to face in a hospital Outpatients department.  Telephone consultations are now only undertaken in exceptional circumstances.)

University Hospital Tuesdays 9am-12pm
Wednesdays 9am-12pm
Fridays 9am-12pm
George Eliot Hospital Mondays 9am-12pm
Wednesdays 9am -12pm
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust Tuesdays 9am-12pm
Wednesdays 1pm-4pm
Fridays 1pm-4pm
Hospital of St Cross Mondays 9am-4pm
Thursdays 9am-4pm


Colonoscopy appointments

University Hospital Tuesdays 1.15pm-3pm
Thursdays 8.15am-3pm
(alternate weeks)
Fridays 1.15pm-3pm
Hospital of St Cross Mondays 1.15pm-3pm
Wednesdays 8.15am-3pm
George Eliot Hospital
Tuesdays 8.15am-3.30pm
Thursdays 8.15am-10.30am
Fridays 8.15am-3.30pm
Warwick Hospital Mondays 8am-11am
Wednesdays 8am-11am
Thursdays 8am-11am


What if I Need Treatment for Bowel Cancer?

If you are diagnosed with bowel cancer, a team of colorectal specialists will look after you. They will make sure you get the best care and treatment at all times. If bowel cancer is detected at the earliest stage, there is over a 90 per cent chance of survival.
The main treatment for bowel cancer is surgery. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be offered. If the cancer is a polyp that has been removed during colonoscopy, regular checkups may be all that is needed. Not all bowel cancers detected by screening can be cured.

What Are the Symptoms of Bowel Cancer?

The most common symptoms of bowel cancer to look out for are:

  • A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going to the toilet more often or diarrhea for several weeks.
  • Bleeding from the back passage without any obvious reasons.
  • Abdominal pain, especially if it is severe.
  • A lump in your abdomen.

Please remember these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more of the symptoms for four to six weeks, you should see your GP.

The programme offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 56 to 74. People over 75 can request a screening kit by calling a freephone helpline 0800 7076060. UK residents in this age group will automatically be sent an invitation through the post.

It is important to take part in the screening programme if you are invited to do so. However, ultimately it is your decision.

People eligible for bowel cancer screening get an invitation letter, along with an information leaflet (multiple languages) explaining screening and its possible benefits and risks.

About a week later, the programme sends a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit with instructions on how to use it at home. Results are sent out two weeks after the laboratory receives the completed kit. At this point, if the test is positive, a referral is sent to the Screening Centre at University Hospital in Coventry.

The Screening Centre then offers individuals with an abnormal screening result a colonoscopy to determine if cancer is present. This involves a pre-assessment appointment, followed by a colonoscopy or alternative procedure.


Please ensure you contact the Screening Centre using the Freephone number provided under the heading Contact Us as per the guidance provided with your invitation letter. This is important, as the Screening Centre practitioner cannot proceed with your pre-assessment appointment without this information from you.

Following your diagnostic procedure (usually a colonoscopy) you will receive a courtesy call from a Specialist Screening Practitioner (Nurse) to see how you are feeling after your procedure and to answer any queries you may have.

Any samples or polyps (abnormal clump of cells that grow inside the body) removed during your procedure will be analysed by the Histopathology Service and the results will be communicated to you by telephone about a week after your procedure.

In the event that cancer is suspected at the time of your procedure, the presiding screening colonoscopist will discuss this with you at the time and arrangements will be made for any relevant further tests you may need.

In the event cancer is identified following the analysis of samples taken then a member of the screening team (usually a screening colonoscopist, the lead nurse or a Specialist Screening Practitioner (nurse) will contact you by telephone. 

The team for the Bowel Screening Centre for Coventry and Warwickshire are based at UHCW. However, as the services are spread across all of Warwickshire, we also have offices at George Eliot Hospital and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

You can contact the Bowel Screening Department on 0800 783 8042. The office is open 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.

For out of hours emergencies, contact our Accident & Emergency team on 02476 964000.

Thirty days after your procedure, the Screening Centre will send you a questionnaire. This is invaluable for the service to understand how your procedure went and any improvements we can make.

The Screening Centre commits to:

  • Ensure comments received with the questionnaires are, where required, acted upon.
  • Ensure that feedback received is disseminated as necessary.
  • Ensure data is analysed and reviewed at quarterly programme board meetings and appropriate action taken on any emerging trends.
  • Ensure, where necessary, that patients receive acknowledgement or feedback to their comments.

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening
Government screening programme
How to use a Fit Kit
Easy guides for those with learning disabilities
Male/female lifetime screening options
Patient leaflets
UHCW Endoscopy department
UHCW Radiology department
UHCW Pathology department

Meet the team

Latest News

No news stories found.

Back to Departments