Overview

If you’re eligible for bowel screening, the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre will send you a home test kit.

Once you start the test, you must complete it with samples from 3 of your bowel motions (poos).

Test kit

In your kit you'll find:

  • a red and white test kit
  • 6 cardboard sticks
  • a free return envelope

Timing

You must complete all 3 samples and post them within 10 days of taking the first sample.

How to do the home test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4w9QiqQiAI)

Watch our step by step video guide to home bowel screening.

Preparation

You’ll need to take the following with you to the toilet when you collect each sample:

  • your test
  • a pen to write the date
  • 2 of the cardboard sticks
  • something to help collect your sample

It’s important that you catch your bowel motion before it touches the water. You'll need to decide how best to do this. You could use:

  • a folded piece of toilet paper
  • your hand inside a small plastic bag
  • a recycled plastic tub (like for ice cream)

Before the first sample

Before you take your first sample:

  • remove the label with your name on it from the invitation letter and stick it onto the test kit in the area marked 'place label here'
  • write the date on the front of the test
  • peel back the first flap on the test - you’ll see 2 small windows where you’ll put your first sample

Collecting a sample

To collect your first sample:

  1. Catch your bowel motion (poo) before it touches the water.
  2. Use one of the cardboard sticks to take a small sample, about the size of a pea.
  3. Spread the sample to cover the first window on the test.
  4. Use another cardboard stick to take a second sample from a different part of your bowel
    motion (poo).
  5. Spread the second sample to cover the second window on the test.
  6. Close the flap and tuck it under the red tab on the test to keep it closed.

After you've collected your sample, you may want to store your test in a sealed container until ready for the next sample.

Second and third samples

Repeat the test on different bowel movements using the second and third flaps of your test.

The samples can be from any of your bowel motions (poos) over a 10 day period - just remember to date each sample.

After the third sample, you’re ready to put the test in the free return envelope and seal it.

After collecting a sample

After each sample:

  • wrap the used sticks in toilet paper and dispose of them carefully – don’t flush them down the toilet
  • wash your hands
  • keep your test in a cool place out of direct sunlight

Sending your test

Before you seal the envelope, check that:

  • you've completed the test within 10 days of your first sample
  • your name label with the barcode is on the test
  • all 6 windows have samples
  • the samples are dated

Sending your sample

Once sealed, your test is ready to post.

The free return envelope is designed to meet postal regulations and is safe to post. However, to protect postal workers, please make sure it’s clean before you post it.

Further information

If you've any questions about using the home test kit, contact the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre by:

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. If there’s nobody available to take your call, please leave a voicemail message, and a member of staff will return your call.

Every call is confidential.

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