The Countess Breast Screening Unit also had to satisfy rigorous quality control standards to prove it was ready to implement the latest digital imaging technology. This became fully operational on 1st December 2010. Whilst conventional screening equipment remains reliable and of a very high standard, digital imaging technology makes it easier for staff interpreting the images to identify subtle changes in younger women's breast tissue (the under-50s).
This is important because the first wave of the Screening Programme Age Extension commenced in December 2010 to include younger women aged 47-50 years of age. Until then, all women aged 50-70 years were invited to attend a breast screening appointment once every three years. By the end of 2016 all women aged 47-73 should receive 3 yearly invitations for breast screening as a Department of Health requirement. As a result, women aged 47-73 will have the benefit of at least one extra breast screen invitation during their lifetime, compared to current arrangements. (Women over 73 may continue to self-refer every 3 years for as long as they wish.)
Miss E Redmond; Mrs C Harding-Mackean
Mrs Jackie Phillips - Breast Care Nurse Practitioner
2 Specialist Breast Care Nurses
The breast service has an excellent reputation locally for delivering high quality, patient-focussed care. Based in our dedicated Breast care unit the team offers a comprehensive range of out-patient, in-patient and planned same day services and works closely with the radiology and pathology departments to ensure that all investigations are carried out in a timely manner. The breast unit continues to successfully maintain a maximum 2 week wait for all new outpatient appointments referred into the service and is working closely with commissioning partners on the extension of breast screening programmes nationally.
The department also continues to enhance its provision of post mastectomy reconstructive surgery and works closely with the plastic surgery department.