Health professionals and alternative access to kits

Health professionals in participating Indigenous health services can help their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients complete bowel screening. Offering alternative access to kits from National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) boosts participation rates.

Participating health services

Health services that participated in the National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot can continue to hand out kits to eligible patients.

We are currently working to broaden the NBCSP alternative access to kits program so that all healthcare providers can give out kits this way.

Health services that were not part of the pilot can nbcsp [at] health.gov.au (contact us) for more information.

Offering bowel screening

Clinical staff working in a participating health centre can offer a bowel screening test kit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients aged between 50 and 74 at any time. It could form part of their 715 health check.  

To offer bowel screening, you:

  • ask if the patient has done the bowel screening test
  • show them an open kit and explain how to use it
  • offer them a kit with the alternative access sticker attached
  • register them with the program.

The patient completes the kit at home. Then, they either mail it in directly or drop it off at your health centre for you to mail in. Your practice will receive a copy of the patient’s results.

Registering your patient

You register your patient with the NBCSP by completing the online Participant Details form (Health Service Initiated).

If you need a hard copy of this form, nbcsp [at] health.gov.au (contact us).

Receiving results

Health services will receive all categories of results for their patients when using alternative access to kits:

  • positive
  • negative
  • no result
  • inconclusive.

Both the patient and the health centre will receive these results in the mail.

If you receive a positive result for a patient, contact them to schedule an appointment with their general practitioner.

If you have not received results for a patient, contact the Test Kit Helpline.

Resources

You can use the resources developed for the pilot program to promote bowel screening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Resources for GPs and health workers

Our collection of resources for GPs and health workers includes:

  • the pilot program manual
  • posters
  • printable information sheets for GPs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners
  • checklist for talking with your patients
  • flip chart to use when talking with patients.

Resources for GPs and health workers – Indigenous bowel screening

This collection contains resources for participating health centres to use when offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bowel screening through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).

Resources for families and communities

Our collection of resources for families and communities includes:

  • a video, flyer and posters about the NBCSP
  • video stories of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who have experienced bowel cancer
  • songs developed and performed by Indigenous communities to promote bowel screening
  • links to resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developed by other health services. 

Resources for families and communities – Indigenous bowel screening

This collection contains resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).

Last updated: 
16 July 2021

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