Trust invests nearly £120k in new breast screening unit

A new breast screening unit at Palatine Leisure Centre, in Blackpool, has opened its doors to women in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and Preston.

The unit, which can screen up to 50 women a day, replaces a 20-year-old service at Whitegate Drive Health Centre, Blackpool. It has disabled access including a lift, state-of-the-art mammography equipment and car parking facilities.

The service is appointment only and runs five days a week.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is commissioned by NHS England to provide a breast screening service to eligible women between 50-70 in North Lancashire and South Cumbria. The programme currently serves an eligible population of approximate 134,000 women.

UHMBT has delivered the service across North Lancashire at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary since 1991 and South Cumbria at Westmorland General Hospital and Furness General Hospital since 1999.

Alison Webb, Head of Department for Breast Screening, said: “The equipment at Whitegate Drive had reached the end of its lifespan. The new GE Senographe Pristina mammography system has cutting edge technology designed to ease anxiety and increase comfort of women whilst having a mammogram. There are also technological advances that enable a much improved experience for our mammographers.”

Patient feedback has included:

“The new unit is much more comfortable.”

“I feel I have had a better experience in the new unit.”

Fylde Coast GP Neil Hartley-Smith said: “It’s great that such a crucial service for local women is receiving this much-needed investment.

“As with any cancer, early detection is vital to the successful treatment of breast cancer and in many cases the disease can be completely curable when found at an early stage.

“As always, I would urge all women who are invited for breast screening to make every effort to attend.”
An official opening is planned in the next few months.