Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

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Practices are reminded that Faecal Immunochemical Test (qFIT/FIT) samples for symptomatic patients should be clearly labelled and sent to local laboratories. Any symptomatic samples sent to the Bowel Screening Hub will not be processed. Please see dowloads for the differences between FIT for symptomatic patients and FIT for screening.

From 1 April 2019 the FIT test for suspected colorectal cancer has been available to NCL GP Practices.

Offer a FIT test before referring to assess for colorectal cancer in adults WITHOUT RECTAL BLEEDING and low risk symptoms who meet the following criteria:

  • ≥50 years with unexplained abdominal pain or weight loss 
  • <60 years with changes in their bowel habit or iron deficiency anaemia 
  •  ≥60 years and have anaemia even in the absence of iron deficiency

See  ‘lower GI (incorporating the FIT test for symptomatic patients)’ pathway in Downloads.

Ask the patient to take the sample as per the instructions on the patients leaflet (see Downloads) It is essential for the sample to be taken as soon as the faeces is produced as it deteriorates quickly. Sample must also be sent with correctly completed tQUEST / SunQuest ICE form to avoid delays in getting back results.

Refer to the guidance for GP  video for information about the FIT test in NCL.

The test can be found in EMIS pathology tests under FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test).

Practices should check they have the correct referral form version, v6.3, which has been recently updated. 

This FIT test applies to symptomatic patients and is more sensitive than the FIT test recently adopted by the national bowel cancer screening programme.

For any operational queries please contact Bashir Ramzan, NCL Project Manager at b.ramzan@nhs.net.


Eligibility criteria


  • Patients with higher risk symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia, rectal or abdominal mass or marked weight loss should be referred on a two-week referral.

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