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 downloads 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 in both low-risk (DG30) and high-risk (NG12) cases with lower GI symptoms who meet the following criteria:

Low risk (DG30) symptomatic

  • ≥50 years with unexplained abdominal pain or weight loss etc

High risk (NG12) symptomatic

  • abdominal mass
  • rectal bleeding
  • change in bowel habit
  • iron-deficiency and non-iron-deficiency anaemia
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss

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).

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


Eligibility criteria


  • patients must not have a rectal or anal mass, or anal ulceration

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs

EMIS form

Referral methods: EMIS managed referral

Please download the 'COVID-19 Pan-London Suspected Lower GI cancer referral form v3' from the EMIS forms page.


Referral methods: Hand to Patient

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