Breast screening programme across the district re-starts today

ROUTINE breast screening for women across Airedale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees re-started today following a five-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pennine Breast Screening Unit, based at St Luke’s Hospital, covers one of the largest breast screening regions in England and invites over 202,000 women over a three yearly period for their mammogram.

Breast screening was suspended at the end of March and is re-starting on August 24. Appointments may be at The Pennine Suite, St Luke’s Hospital, or one of four mobile units that travel around the region.

Initially, the team will be inviting women registered with GPs in the following areas. Please wait for your invitation before contacting the Breast Screening Unit.

  • Wyke/Low Moor and Barkerend areas: appointments at St Luke’s
  • North East and Central Halifax: appointments at the mobile unit at B&Q, Halifax
  • Central Huddersfield and Mill Hill area: appointments at the mobile unit at Princess Royal Health Centre, Huddersfield
  • Mount Pleasant area, Batley: Dewsbury District Hospital
  • Keighley area: appointments at the mobile unit in the car park at Sainsbury’s, Keighley, commencing shortly

Screening is a vital health check for women aged 50-70 and all women are urged to take up three-yearly invitations.

The mobile units have been updated to ensure the safety of women and staff, and women attending appointments will be asked to follow certain infection prevention and control measures which will be set out in their appointment letters.

Breast Screening Health Promotion Specialist, Sadie Greenwood, said: “We’re delighted that we can start inviting women for screening once again”.

“We’ve been working hard to make sure we can see women safely and are now ready for the service to go live. Appointment times have been extended to allow thorough cleaning of the unit between appointments, and in some areas staff will be working shifts to provide a similar number of appointments per day over a longer period, including Saturdays, to create a more flexible service with slots available throughout the day and evening.”

Breast cancer affects 1 in 7 women and a mammogram can potentially find disease in the breast up to two years before you can feel or see it yourself, making treatment options simpler and easier.

If you are younger or older than the 50-70 age range, please be breast aware and contact your GP as soon as possible if you notice a change. Due to COVID-19, the age extension trial has been paused and women over 71 are not able to self-refer at the moment.

Consultant Breast Radiologist, Dr Shazia Khan said: “This is a really important early detection test that saves lives. The mammographers are a professional female team who provide an excellent service and put women at ease.

“A mammogram lasts around five minutes, although it is advised that you allow 30 minutes for the whole appointment. It can feel a little weird the first time you have a mammogram, and most women say it’s ‘a bit of a tight squeeze but no big deal’ and are grateful for the peace of mind that it brings.”

If you get an invite letter and want to change the appointment date or do not wish to attend, please contact the Pennine team on: 01274 365521 or email: pennine.screening@bthft.nhs.uk Follow the team on FB/Twitter/Insta @PennineBSU

To see inside one of the mobile units and hear why breast screening is such an important test, watch this short video: https://youtu.be/T6j71XyGGPc

 

 

ENDS …

 

 

For further media information, please contact communications@bthft.nhs.uk or call 01274 383901.

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