30 Apr 2021

Southern DHB unprepared for National Bowel Screening Programme

From Nine To Noon, 9:31 am on 30 April 2021
Samples of a colon biopsy to be sent to a laboratory, at Diaconesses Croix Saint-Simon Hospital, Paris, France (2009).

Samples of a colon biopsy to be sent to a laboratory. Photo: A. BENOIST / BSIP

A team of researchers say the Southern DHB should never have been granted permission to join the National Bowel Screening Programme in 2018.

An investigation using the Official Information Act found that permission was granted prematurely, without following due process and in spite of concerns raised by Ministry of Health staff about the DHB's capacity.

The paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today outlines how the decision was made at a a time when the Southern DHB was even struggling to provide colonoscopy services for symptomatic patients and would be unprepared to deal with the increase in demand that screening would cause.

Kathryn speaks with Phil Bagshaw, chairman of the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust.