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Scottish Equity in Screening Strategy: A Vision for Fair and Just Screening Services

The first-ever Scottish Equity in Screening Strategy has today been published by the Scottish Government.

Published on 27 July 2023

From: Clinical Directorate

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NHS National Services Scotland, in collaboration with the Scottish Government and NHSScotland, along with representatives from the third sector and academia, has launched the Scottish Equity in Screening Strategy. This comprehensive strategy sets out a vision for fair and just screening services for all eligible individuals in Scotland.

Screening is a vital tool for identifying early signs of diseases and conditions, leading to earlier treatment and improved health outcomes. However, certain groups face avoidable and unfair differences in accessing screening services, resulting in health inequalities. The Scottish Equity in Screening Strategy aims to address these disparities and achieve equitable access and equal benefit from screening for all eligible people.

Key outcomes include improved awareness through accessible information and engagement with communities to understand their communication needs, ensuring all eligible individuals are aware of screening programmes. The strategy will also address barriers and facilitate fair access to screening services for Scottish people.

The screening workforce will be supported in understanding and reducing health inequalities through learning and development opportunities, and will use data-driven insight to increase understanding of screening inequalities, identifying affected groups across all stages of the screening pathway.

Through this work we will continuously build the evidence base of effective interventions and evaluate their impact, while working with diverse partners to ensure screening inequalities are recognised as a priority.

The strategy outlines key actions to be taken over the next three years towards achieving these outcomes and create fairer screening programmes. The implementation and progress of the strategy will be overseen by the National Screening Oversight Board.

Dr Tasmin Sommerfield, Clinical Advisor for Screening at National Screening Oversight stated, "We’re committed to providing equitable access to screening services for all eligible individuals in Scotland. By addressing health inequalities, we can ensure that more eligible people receive the benefits of early detection and timely intervention."

To learn more about the Scottish Equity in Screening Strategy, please visit the Scottish Government website.

For any queries related to the strategy, email