East of England Bowel Cancer Screening Text Reminders

Register now

Practice registration is required to provide GP endorsement for the text message and allow iPLATO to read code back to the clinical system. Eligible patients will still receive a text message if practices do not register, however the message will not be GP endorsed and iPLATO will be unable to read code.

The primary aim of this programme is to utilise technology to improve bowel cancer screening uptake in the East of England through the use of text messaging and GP endorsement.

iPLATO will send a text reminder to participants who have not returned their kit approximately 2 weeks after the reminder letter. Messages will be sent centrally, therefore consent is required to ensure patients records can be read-coded and to provide the surgery with an audit trail.

Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in England. Over 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, which equates to more than 110 new cases a day. Bowel cancer survival is improving and has more than doubled in the last 40 years in the UK, if diagnosed early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.

As a practice, you can drive up up-take of bowel screening by registering today. Please click on the 'Register now' button above.

Why should I get my practice involved?

As healthcare professionals, we have a shared goal to advance healthcare as we know it and make positive change happen for others.

This is a fully funded initiative at no cost to your practice and there is no noticeable increase on practice workload.

Registering your practice ensures your patients will receive texts with GP endorsement which is more effective than no GP endorsement.

It's simple and easy to support:

Step 1: Register your practice.

Step 2: Have a 5-minute set-up call (if required).

Step 3: We do the rest.

Register Now

How will it work?

  • This programme will consist of creating a Bowel Screening Engagement Hub for the purpose of sending text reminders to eligible individuals in the East of England who have not returned their FIT kit.
  • Eligible patients will be identified and extracted via Personal Demographics Service (PDS) using NHS numbers and send individuals from a targeted population a customised SMS message. The hub is fully integrated with EMIS Web, TPP SystmOne and Vision.
  • iPLATO will also seek consent from GP practices to use GP endorsement in the reminder texts to help improve uptake further and collect the correct practice names for use in the letters and SMS messages.
  • Patients who do not return a test will now receive a reminder text 2 weeks after receiving the test to ultimately drive an increase in uptake amongst non-responders.
  • This SMS Programme will be in addition to any existing programmes.

Data Processing and Data Sharing Summary

  • The Bowel Screening Hub will send iPLATO a list of NHS numbers of eligible patients on a weekly basis.
  • These NHS numbers and ODS of registered practice will be used to remotely extract patient mobile phone numbers directly from the PDS via the FHIR API.
  • All data is processed within the HSCN network.
  • We will only require the NHS number to send the SMS but the ODS code will also be extracted to enable confirmation of identify and practice level reporting of messages sent. 
  • iPLATO Healthcare acts as a Data Processor for this service.
  • Messages will sent centrally, therefore consent is required to ensure patients records can be read-coded and to provide the surgery with an audit trail.
  • iPLATO shall implement and maintain, at its cost and expense, appropriate technical and organisational measures in relation to its processing of Patient Data so as to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risks that are presented by the processing.
  • iPLATO will ensure data is transferred safely and is used in line with data sharing governance arrangements agreed with the Bowel Screening Hub.