Healthy London Partnership > TCST Newsletter > Faecal Immunohistochemical Testing in East London Bengali communities

Faecal Immunohistochemical Testing in East London Bengali communities

17th February 2022

The Transforming Cancer Services Team (TCST) have been awarded funding to extend an exciting project initiated by Barts Hospital exploring how best to improve the bowel cancer pathway for local Bengali communities.

A Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a test which analyses poo samples to identify possible signs of bowel disease, including bowel cancer. Across London FIT testing was implemented to assist with triaging during the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the burden on stretched colorectal teams. However the increased use of FIT in this pathway may cause uneven uptake and inequalities across London. Funding available from NHSE seeks to address barriers to uptake of FIT.

New pathways including FIT testing for suspected lower gastrointestinal cancer referrals look set to continue beyond the pandemic but further work is needed to ensure that this testing is well-received and understood by London’s many diverse ethnic communities. One of the communities, identified by Barts Hospital, as being underserved by this current pathway are the Bengali community of East London.

The project aims to improve the explanation of diagnostic test results in a completely understandable way for adult cancer patients in the Bengali community. To ensure that what matters to patients is at the heart of this improvement project, a Lived Experience member is an integral person in the project team and works with the project team to get feedback on all aspects of the pathway.

Patient information on our urgent suspected cancer referrals for London and the FIT pathway for bowel cancer referral has been translated into the top 12 London languages in London and can be downloaded in PDF format.

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