Responding to the publication of the National Audit Office report, Meg Hillier – chair of the Public Accounts Committee – said it is “unacceptable” that cancer screening programmes in England are being “let down by complex and ageing IT”.
The calculator, which combines a woman’s family history with lifestyle factors, is the ‘most comprehensive method yet’ to predict the risk of the disease.
The review is recommending that the IT systems used in the breast cancer screening programme are made simpler to use and fully interoperable.
A study, carried out by researchers from the University of Surrey, investigated whether women who sought health information online found it useful or not.
The local initiative, led by NHS Digital, resulted in a 13% increase in the number of women in Stoke-on-Trent attending a screening for the first time.
Addie Mitchell from BCC has told Digital Health News she hopes the digital tool will help give women the confidence to regularly check for breast cancer.
Seven sites have been selected to run trials of digital initiatives designed to address healthcare challenges in the NHS.
Digital Patient 2
The number of women who may have had their lives shortened due to an IT error affecting the breast cancer screening programme is now estimated to be ‘fewer than 75’ rather than the initially-cited 270.
Professor Peter Sasieni, a cancer screening and prevention researcher at King’s College London, has claimed the error could date back to early as 2005 after studying data from the screening programme between 2004 and 2017.
A spokesperson for Public Health England said it had “commissioned help from PWC to support our work on the breast screening incident,” which may have caused up to 450,000 women to miss their final screening.
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