Introduction The Bowel Screening Wales (BSW) Network Multi Disciplinary Team (NMDT) and National Referral Centre (NRC) pilot was established in October 2011 to offer the opportunity for expert opinion and discussion of therapeutic options for participants with complex benign polyps detected on the Welsh bowel screening programme. Formal evaluation of the pilot was undertaken to inform future service development and focused on establishing the views of participants.
Methods All screening participants with complex benign polyps referred to the NMDT between the 1st of January and the 17th of April 2012 were included in the evaluation.
Telephone interviews were conducted by members of BSW staff without direct involvement in their care using a structured questionnaire. Questions were of two different formats: some required responders to choose from a selection of structured options; whilst others required free-flowing text responses. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis methods were used.
Results A total of 41 screening participants were referred to the NMDT during this time frame. Twenty four participants agreed to take part in the evaluation (59%). Participants who responded were geographically dispersed and had a variety of management outcomes following index screening colonoscopy.
The importance participants placed on being involved in decision making about their care was emphasised by nineteen (79%) responders who considered it essential or important that a decision by the local team to refer their case to the NMDT was discussed with them prior to referral.
Most responders (92%) reported that following index colonoscopy, management options were discussed with them. Twenty one responders (87%) reported that they had received sufficient information for them to be able to make an informed choice about the best clinical option for them.
Although overall awareness of the NMDT and NRC pilot among screening participants was low (only 5 responders- 21% were aware), nine participants (38%) reported they were aware that their local team could seek advice about their clinical management from a group of experts outside of the immediate local team.
Participants’ opinion about the overall service they received from the NRC was favourable, with 6 (86%) individuals describing the service as excellent and one individual describing the service as good.
Conclusion The BSW NMDT and NRC pilot was established to facilitate informed choice and to develop an equitable service for participants of the bowel screening programme in Wales. Evaluation of the initial pilot stage confirmed that participants felt involved in decision making about their treatment options and that the service was received positively. Initial evaluation would suggest that the pilot met the aim of developing an equitable participant focused service.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.