3 August 2022

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand has been made aware that a box of completed bowel screening kits has gone missing during transit.

The National Screening Unit (NSU) was notified of the incident after 99 kits were found by a member of the public in Auckland on 22 July 2022. The NSU is contacting affected participants.

Te Whatu Ora understands the kits went missing on 15 June 2022 and did not reach the laboratory to be analysed. The kits are likely to have come from different locations across the country: approximately 5,000 to 6,000 faecal samples are sent to a centralised location and analysed each week.

An investigation is underway, with the transit partners and laboratory, to understand how the incident occurred, and NSU will implement changes to processes, as required, to ensure this does not happen again.

More than a third of the 99 affected participants who have been identified have already completed a new test. Replacement test kits are being sent to those participants who have not yet completed another test. Given the capacity of the box, it is possible but considered unlikely that a small number of additional kits were in the box when it went missing and have not yet been recovered.

Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who sent in a completed kit between 1 and 15 June 2022 and has not received a phone call from NSU or their bowel screening test results should contact the Whakarongorau call centre on 0800 924 432 or email info@bowelscreening.health.nz.

Te Whatu Ora has notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of the incident. It apologises to anyone affected by this incident.