Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said the Scottish Government needs to boost its efforts to improve participation in screening programmes after the number of people taking part in a test for cancer declined.
New figures detailing the return rate for bowel screening tests showed 55.6% of Scots in the 50-74 age range used the home kits, falling short of the 60% programme target.
Participation declined again during the two year period (November 2015 to October 2017), having reached 57.8% in 2012-2014.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"One in 50 of these home tests identify something, from a benign growth through to cancer, so participation is essential to catching problems early on, treating them effectively and saving lives.
"That is why it is so disappointing to find out that there are fewer people returning the kits and that another of the Scottish Government's targets has been missed.
“Health boards, with support from the Scottish Government, need to redouble efforts to encourage the uptake of this test. Better awareness and education are needed to encourage more people to make use of these potentially lifesaving kits as soon as they arrive in the post.”