Alternative access to bowel screening kits for healthcare providers

To increase bowel cancer screening rates, healthcare providers can now bulk order kits to issue to eligible patients during an appointment.

About the alternative access to bowel screening kits model

Healthcare providers can bulk order National Bowel Cancer Screening Program kits and issue them directly to eligible patients, explain why the test is important and demonstrate how to do it.

This is in addition to the mail-out model, where kits are mailed directly to eligible people by the National Cancer Screening Register.

Many patients are more likely to complete the test after discussing it with a trusted healthcare provider. You play an important role in helping your patients make informed decisions about bowel cancer screening.

With your help, the alternative access to kits model is targeting people less likely to screen and those who have never screened. Once people screen for the first time – we know they are more likely to keep screening.

Getting started in your practice

In 5 steps, your practice can help increase the bowel screening rates of eligible people in your community.

  1. Register for access to the National Cancer Screening Register Healthcare Provider (HCP) Portal. You can also integrate your clinical software for easier access.
  2. Get training on bowel screening, using the portal and how to have conversations with patients.
  3. Order the free test kits in bulk.
  4. Hand out kits to eligible patients and record this in the portal.
  5. Access resources with culturally tailored options, including an expanded range for Indigenous people to promote participation in the program.

To ensure patients get their test results, bowel screening kits MUST be issued to eligible people via the National Cancer Screening Register.

Alternative access to bowel screening kits guide

Before you order kits for the first time, and to help you implement and promote screening in your practice, visit the Alternative access to bowel screening kits guide.

The National Cancer Screening Register and healthcare provider portal

The program is supported by the National Cancer Screening Register which invites, reminds and follows up participants to screen.

The register’s healthcare provider portal offers a secure environment to access and submit screening data – as well as bulk order bowel screening kits and register kits issued to patients as part of the alternative access to kits model.

Closing the gap with bowel cancer screening

The alternative access to kits model builds on the National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot, which saw Indigenous participation in bowel screening increase from 27% to almost 40% in pilot participants.

Learn about the pilot that led to increased bowel screening participation.

ACCHOs participating in the alternative access to kits model should contact NACCHO for training options.

Resources and contacts

Resources are available for practices to communicate with patients at all stages of the bowel screening process. 

Visit our alternative access to kits guide to browse available resources.

Culturally appropriate resources are available for health professionals with Indigenous patients.

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