Shared Lives Plus

Join/Renew Log In Find Your Shared Lives Service

Date published: March 4, 2024

NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ bowel cancer screening campaign launches in England

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and detecting it at the earliest stage increases the chance of successful treatment by up to nine times.

In the latest ‘Help Us, Help You’ Bowel Cancer Screening Campaign, the NHS is encouraging people who have been sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit to complete, and return, the test.

Hero Image

The test is available to anyone between the ages of 56 and 74 who lives in England and is registered with a GP. If you, or someone you live with, is in this group, the NHS will automatically send out a screening kit, by post, every two years.

The screening test is simple, free, and can be done in complete privacy at home. But, almost one third of people who were sent a kit in England last year didn’t take advantage of this early screening – with disabled people even less likely to complete and return the kit.

Talking about toilet habits can be embarrasing, but as the campaign points out, thanks to these screening tests, your next poo could save your life.

If you get a test kit through the post, put it by the loo, don’t put it off.

Supporting people in Shared Lives to access early screening

To encourage more people to take advantage of this early screening, the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign has produced guides in different languages and accessible formats – including an easy read guide.


Shared Lives carers who support someone in the 56-74 age bracket are being asked to keep an eye out for the testing kit in the post, and to use these resources to encourage the person they support to complete the test and send it back.

There is also a short animation explaining how to use the kit.

Using your bowel cancer screening kit (BSL) from NHS Screening on Vimeo.

Subtitles in other languages are available from the NHS Screening Vimeo channel