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Local Breast Screening unit reopens

The Breast Screening Unit at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) in Kendal has reopened following refurbishment, offering patients the best possible experience with the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
Residents who have described the unit as “wonderful”, “efficient”, “professional” and “fantastic”, can once again make use of the welcoming screening and diagnostic services at WGH.

The unit has a refurbished and expanded breast screening room with state-of-the-art scanning technology which offers high image quality and 3D imaging. The waiting area has been expanded and in response to feedback from our service-users, people can now get changed in the screening room itself, which is more private and quicker for anyone having a mammogram. Mood lighting has also been installed to offer a more relaxed environment for those using the unit.

Emily Brooks, Head of Breast Screening for the service, said: “We were delighted to reopen our Kendal unit between Christmas and the New Year, and we have made significant improvements by putting in new equipment and redesigning the breast screening room.

“This is very much a community-orientated service, and we want local people to feel at home here. In our surveys, the feedback from our service users is 99% positive and we always try to keep improving the service for everyone. We see around 50 people per day at WGH and our mammographers are all female. We always listen to the people who use our service, and we have a great uptake in the South Cumbria area.”

One service user said: “It was great. My appointment was exactly on time. The person who did the scan was pleasant and informative and I received the result in a matter of days.”

Another said: “From the lady on reception to the staff doing the mammogram, they were kind, knowledgeable and efficient,” and one simply said: “Wonderful staff, fantastic service.”

The North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service provides routine breast screening for women between the age of 50 and 70 every three years and offers services to anyone referred to the service by a GP. It covers a large area reaching all the way from Barrow to Blackpool, the Fylde Coast and Preston. Around 115,000 people are eligible to use the service across this large geographical area.

The service employs 22 mammographers, and consultant radiographers and advanced practitioners as well as an Improving Uptake Officer. The breast screening rooms at Furness General Hospital in Barrow and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary have also been refurbished to the same high standard in recent months.

Emily, who was a mammographer before becoming the Head of Service, said: “Results for routine screening take two to four weeks, and if anything is found during a routine breast screening appointment, the person would be recalled within three weeks, and we would investigate.

“It’s a very nice service to work in and incredibly rewarding. Our staff are brilliant, and we feel we are making a difference.”

The new equipment in the breast screening room at WGH was funded by NHS England and the project was managed and delivered by UHMBT’s Capital Services Team. The unit is based close to the main entrance of WGH.

For more information about the Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service run by UHMBT, please go to: https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/our-services/services/breast-services.

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