Local Breast Screening Services to be Restarted

Local breast screening services are being reinstated after appointments were rescheduled due to the pandemic. Open invitations will be used to encourage patients to book appointments at a time that best suits them, focusing on the highest priority patient groups first. 

Since March 2020, local NHS Breast Screening services have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and took the decision to reschedule appointments and invitations for tests to a later date to protect patients from the virus and redeploy staff to support the pandemic. Since that time, commissioners and providers have been working together to restore services. 

Patients who are high risk will be seen first, this includes; patients who have previously screened positive, whose results were not processed or who were invited but not screened. Following this, people who were delayed an invitation will be invited for screening. The following women will not received any invitations until further notice; self-referrals aged 71 or over (if women notice any symptoms they should contact their GP) and women in the AgeX trial. 

To address the backlog of appointments, services will move to issue open invitations as an initial measure. A number of providers will begin this from mid-August, with more following on 30 September 2020, until 31 March 2021. Open invitations will ask women to contact the service to book a convenient appointment by phone or email. 

If you are invited for an appointment, you are encouraged to attend. The NHS has safety measures in place to minimise the risk of people getting Coronavirus; 

  • social distancing will be observed
  • there will be additional infection control procedures and clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks
  • your appointment may be at a clinic that is not your usual venue and the appointment may take longer than normal 

Please do not attend your appointment if you or any member of your household are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 or are self isolating. In these circumstances, please contact your local screening service to reschedule your appointment. 

If you are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, please contact the screening provider to let them know. 

You should wear a face covering to your appointment. 

As always, anyone concerned about symptoms is encouraged to contact their GP practice for advice