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Hutt Valley DHB is one of the first DHBs to benefit from the National Bowel Screening Programme. This is a free programme to check for an early sign of bowel cancer. The screening programme started in Hutt Valley in July 2017.

  • Why? New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Regular bowel screening can save lives by finding cancer early when it can often be successfully treated.
  • Who? The National Bowel Screening Programme is being offered to men and women aged 60 to 74 who are eligible for publicly funded healthcare.
    • You should not do the Bowel Screening Programme if you:
      • Have symptoms of bowel Cancer. See below*
      • Have had a colonoscopy within the last 5 years
      • Are on a bowel polyp or bowel cancer surveillance programme
      • Have had or are currently being treated for bowel cancer
      • Have had your large bowel removed
      • Are currently being tested for Ulcerative Colitis or Crohns disease
      • Are seeing your doctor about bowel problems
  • What? If you eligible to take part, you will be sent an invitation letter, a consent form and a free bowel screening test kit. The test is done at home, and is clean and simple to do.
  • When? Participants will receive their first invitation within two years of the start of programme from July 2017. The programme will then be ongoing for eligible 60-74 year olds, who will be invited for screening once every two years.

More information on the National Bowel Screening Programme is available on the screening website:, or by phoning 0800 924 432.

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* Most common symptoms of Bowel Cancer are:

  • a change in your normal pattern of going to the toilet that continues for several weeks
  • Blood in your bowel motion