FREE Bowel Cancer Screening project – Community Links


Dear Practice Manager 

RE: FREE Bowel Cancer Screening project – Community Links 

TNW have launched a project to increase bowel cancer screening rates in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest boroughs. In bowel cancer screening the current uptake for each TNW borough is; 

  • Tower Hamlets - 51.8%
  • Newham - 52.8%
  • Waltham Forest - 55.3% 

Which is lower than the London average of 56.2% and the national target of 60%. 

There is wide variation of screening uptake between practices. Although there are many reasons for this, evidence from other projects have found that GP endorsement and health facilitators’ telephone calls can increase uptake, especially in more socially deprived populations. 

We are pleased to be able to invite your practice to take part in this service to provide additional support to increase bowel cancer screening uptake by contacting patients who are due bowel screening (quarterly searches for a year). 

We are working with a London-based charity called Community Links https://www.community-links.org/health/ who have undertaken similar projects in breast and bowel screening successfully across London. On average, they have improved screening rates by 10% where they have worked previously

Community links will be contacting your eligible patients directly to encourage and support them to take up bowel screening. 

Community Links now has access to the EGTON anywhere consult, which will enable them to directly access a patient’s data securely. This will make the process more efficient  

What do practices need to do?  

  1. Contact Zoraida Colorado, Programme Manager at Community Links no later than the 23rd July 2021 to arrange a virtual meeting to discuss the project with the Practice Manager or your Cancer Champion. For Newham practices please contact Zora Colorado by either Tel: 075 0696 8955 or Email: colorado@community-links.org For Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets practices please contact Anna Hut by either Tel: 02074739660 or Email: anna.hut@nhs.net

Once you have spoken to the Community Links team you are asked to do the following;  

  1. Send Community Links your third-party confidentiality agreement – this will be e-signed and sent back to you as soon as possible. 
  2. Make sure that you have signed DPA available from the DCC (Data Controller Console). An email was sent with an invitation to sign this on Friday 21st May 2021 and will be resent for you to sign, no later than 13th July 2021.
  3. The two following options are available for your practice to choose from;
  4. a) Make the programme manager for this project (Zoraida Colorado or Anna Hut) an active EMIS user for your practice with access to Population Reporting and provide them with your practice code so that they are able to run the searches remotely from their premises.
  5. b) Run the report template which is already available on your system and send the data back to Community Links. The Community Links team can guide your practice through the process if any of it seems unclear or unfamiliar. The report template can be found by searching “Community Links Bowel Screening v1” on EMIS. 

The following will then happen: 

  • Community Links will run the search remotely on a quarterly basis.
  • Community Links will save the data under their secure system.
  • Community Links will telephone patients using trained bilingual health advocates, in order to provide them with more information about the bowel screening service and encourage them to participate. 
  • Community Links’ will keep you informed of the progress of the calling and will be able to provide the data along with the outcome of the calls. 

Please note: 

✔Community Links will destroy patient identifiable information six months’ after running the search.

✔This project is covered by a comprehensive Data Protection Impact Assessment and Data Processing Agreement which meets information governance regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and which has been agreed between TNW CCG and Community Links. It is supported by the TNW Information Governance Working Group. 

✔There is also an agreed contract in place between TNW CCG and Community Links for all other governance matters in relation to the delivery of the project itself. 

✔All Community Links’ staff have a DBS and have been trained in IG and GDPR. 

✔As per Practice protocol and given that they will be using patient information, members of the Community Links Team will sign your third-party confidentiality agreement.  

We hope that you will be keen to take up this offer and we look forward to working with you and Community Links on this project.  

If you have any other queries please do not hesitate to contact James Strange from TNW CCG at james.strange@nhs.net or Zora Colorado or Anna Hut at Community Links zoraida.colorado@community-links.org   /   anna.hut@nhs.net  

Yours Sincerely, 

Dr Helen Stedeford               Dr Tania Anastasiadis             Dr Shahbaz Kang

Newham CCG                        Tower Hamlets CCG                  Waltham Forest CCG

helenstedeford@nhs.net        t.anastasiadis@nhs.net             shahbaz.kang@nhs.net