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Review of 2016: a year of major landmarks for screening

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: General, UK National Screening Committee
This article was originally published on the Public Health England screening blog.

In the short video below, Dr Anne Mackie, Director of Screening for Public Health England, reflects on screening's achievements during 2016.

2016 was a year of major landmarks, most notably the 20th anniversary of the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC), the 10th anniversary of the national bowel cancer and newborn hearing screening programmes and the 10th anniversary of newborn blood spot screening for sickle cell disease.

We were able to stop antenatal screening for rubella susceptibility due to the success of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination programme. There were also 4 significant ministerial announcements:

Transcript of Dr Anne Mackie's video message

I'm fresh from a night on a disco boat down the Thames with the team  and Christmas is upon us as you can see from the tree.

I wanted to reflect on 2016 and start to think about 2017. 2016 has been absolutely astonishing. I'm always proud to be involved in screening. It's one of the best public health jobs I've ever done. We do 20 million screening tests, refer several hundred thousand people for tests, treatment and care that they wouldn't otherwise have had and save 10,000 lives, limbs and brains every year.

It's a truly astonishing prospect and I'm so proud to work with you all to deliver that. I wanted to think about and celebrate some particular achievements this year.

It's the 20th anniversary of the UK NSC itself. Sickle cell, bowel and hearing all celebrate 10-year anniversaries and those are fantastic achievements.

The evidence that we rely on has got us an international reputation for being solid and robust and on that basis we've got successful ministerial announcements on HPV, FIT, NIPT and the diabetic eye screening programme.

We continue to roll out the NIPE programme and we're working further on pulse oximetry. We have this year also managed to stop the rubella susceptibility screening programme, again a big achievement. It's very hard to stop screening programmes and we've worked closely with our immunisation colleagues in order to make that happen.

We have, as Denise has reminded me, got the 6th most-read blog* across government, a very successful stakeholder conference yesterday and very good, cordial relationships with our stakeholders. We've got a recently uploaded screening qualification which I know has taken a very long time to get.

We continue to share data because I know and I'm convinced that sharing data continually improves quality and, along with that, we are on track to deliver just short of 140 quality assurance visits this year. That's based on a more-or-less standing start, so a is a truly fabulous achievement considering that we have got a national reach in relation to quality assurance.

So, as I say, I am extremely proud to be involved with screening, extremely proud to work with such a lovely, fantastic and committed team.

Have a lovely break over the Christmas period and I'll see you all in 2017.

*not the 4th most read as stated in the video

What do you think of our report?

Please remember to let us know what you think of The NHS Screening Programmes in England 2015 to 2016 report.

It's available to download as a PDF from GOV.UK and we also did a small print run of hard copies  for important stakeholders. However, we're well aware that people access information in many different ways – video and audio clips, blogs and tweets to name but a few.

Please help make sure we get the format right for next year and beyond.

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