Aim: To obtain information regarding the provision of computed tomography colonography (CTC) services to the National Health Service (NHS) Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP).
Materials and methods: Specialist screening practitioners at the 58 BCSP screening centres and lead BCSP radiologists at 110 hospitals performing CTC for the Programme were contacted and completed a semi-structured questionnaire administered by telephone. Responses were collated and descriptive statistics derived.
Results: One hundred and seven (98%) SSPs and 103 (94%) radiologists were surveyed. All screening centres had access to CTC at 110 hospital sites. All sites used CTC for failed or contraindicated colonoscopy, 24% used it for patients taking anticoagulants, and 17% for those with fear of colonoscopy. Patient preference was not an indication at any site. Multidetector CT (100%), carbon dioxide insufflators (94%), and CTC software (95%) were almost universal. Ninety-one percent of radiographers and 98% of radiologists were trained in CTC image acquisition and interpretation, respectively. Seventy-five percent of the radiologists were gastrointestinal subspecialists and two-thirds had interpreted more than 300 examinations in clinical practice, although 5% had interpreted fewer than 100. Eighty-one percent of radiologists favoured some form of accreditation for CTC interpretation.
Conclusions: CTC is widely available to the BCSP. Appropriate hardware and software is almost ubiquitous. Most radiographers and radiologists offering CTC to the BCSP have received specific training. Formal service evaluation is patchy. The majority of radiologists would welcome national accreditation for CTC.
Copyright © 2012 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.