Women in Stoke-on-Trent are to benefit from a state-of-the-art screening unit in the community, opened by the breast screening team at University Hospitals of North Midlands. (UHNM). The new unit is one of the largest in the UK and has the latest breast screening technology; built in WiFi; solar panels; a large open waiting area and two changing areas. Wheelchair access is also available.
The UHNM team of Radiographers and assistant practitioners will run the service from Kidsgrove, performing mammograms on women aged 50 to 71 that have had a referral from their GP. The unit cost more than £300,000 and was funded by NHS England and Improvement with the ability to upgrade the screening machine as technology advances.
Health Improvement Practitioner, Jessica Johnson said: “This brand new unit is an amazing asset to the community, not only does it provide a service closer to home for some residents but it allows us to reduce waiting times and the need to visit a hospital, which can be busy.”
The team started screening again in July 2020 after it was suspended for safety of patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Covid -19 some services including breast screening had a reduction in patients attending appointments because they were either shielding or concerned about the virus.
Jessica added: “It has been particularly challenging through the pandemic with many members of the team being redeployed into other areas of the hospital whilst the breast screening service was suspended.
“However, we are now able offer patients timely screening and encourage people to come forward if they are concerned about symptoms by contacting their GP initially. Each screening clinic is arranged to ensure social distancing is in place and there is no crossover of women in the waiting room. All infection prevention procedures required are followed and each room is cleaned after each appointment.”
If you are concerned that you have any of the signs of breast cancer such as a lump, skin dimpling, lump under the armpit or anything that is unusual for you please speak to you GP about it.