Bowel Cancer resource produced for people with learning disabilities in Scotland

bowel cancer guide

Bowel Cancer UK estimates that over 40,000 men and women are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year, making it the third most common cancer. It is the second biggest killer in Scotland where there is a higher incidence rate of bowel cancer than many other countries in the Western world.  They estimate that around 1,600 people die of the disease in Scotland each year.

The organisation has just produced a new resource aimed specifically at people with learning disabilities and their carers in Scotland. The resource provides easy read information to help people make informed choices about bowel health and how to respond to a Scottish bowel screening programme invitation.

The screening pack is for people aged between 50 and 74 and has information on recognising symptoms and what to do if you are worried. There is also a guide for carers with a range of resources and strategies to help build confidence in talking with people with learning disabilities about bowel health.

There will also be available a Good Bowel Health book and a DVD detailing the Scottish National Bowel Screening Programme.

Minister for public health, Michael Matheson MSP, said:

I am delighted to support a new resource which will give those with learning disabilities and their carers the tools and support to decide whether screening is right for them.

It is hoped that the clear, concise and easy to understand information along with a range of images and links to resources will help with earlier diagnosis of bowel cancer, and also help promote good bowel health in people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

You can download the booklet and carers’ guide here

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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