Your Views: Reconfiguration of Breast Screening, Assessment and Symptomatic services
Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WHH), in Partnership with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation trust (STHK), currently provides Breast Screening Services (Mammography), Breast Assessment and Symptomatic Breast Services for Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley.
Between 28 May and 8 July 2021 WHH are undertaking a consultation on proposals to reconfigure these services.
The Screening Service manages and co-ordinates a three-year rolling programme of routine mammography across the region. Breast Screening is offered to all women aged 50 – 70 (up to their 71st birthday).
Following a mammogram, any patients requiring further investigation are requested to attend a Breast Assessment clinic to obtain a timely diagnosis of mammographic abnormalities detected during screening. Breast Assessment Clinics run twice weekly at Kendrick Wing, Warrington Hospital and once per week at the Burney Breast Unit, St Helens Hospital to ensure results are provided rapidly.
Assessment clinics use a triple assessment:
• mammography/ultrasound scans
• clinical examination
• image-guided needle biopsy, if required
Assessment clinics are designed to enable patients to undergo all these investigations (if appropriate) in a single attendance.
Symptomatic Breast Services
Symptomatic services comprise rapid access outpatient clinics and inpatient surgical services.
These services are accessed by a direct referral, usually by a GP. They do not currently form part of the Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley Breast Screening and Assessment Service. All adults, regardless of age or gender can be referred to the Symptomatic Service.
The first stage of the Symptomatic Service involves an outpatient meeting with a Consultant and undergoing similar investigations to the Screening pathway Assessment Clinics.
WHH are proposing to reconfigure these services to develop a Centre of Excellence based at The Captain sir Tom Moore Building (CSTM) at the Halton Hospital site.
The proposals will see Breast Assessment and Symptomatic Assessment Services moved from Warrington hospital to the CSTM which will:
- ensure patients receive the best specialist care in a more supportive environment
- allows for more efficient use of equipment and scheduling
- create a rapid service, which will lead to shorter waits for patients due to improved efficiency with the same level of staffing.
- Futureproof the service structure against predicted higher future demand.
The proposals will co-locate on the same site:
- Screening and Assessment Services
- Symptomatic Breast Surgery Service.
- The CANtreat Chemotherapy service
- Macmillan Delamere Cancer Support and Information Centre.
This provides patients with the option of having all stages of assessment, advice and treatment on the same site.
Have your say
This public consultation follows an earlier engagement exercise in which provided valuable insight into the proposals and demonstrated that the factors that were most important to people were waiting times to access a screening or assessment service, the outcome of any treatment and the expertise of the staff.
The initial engagement exercise has also given us several areas for further consideration including ease of access to the service and reflecting the needs of male patients.
The full proposals together with detailed explanation and answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are available in the document Consultation and FAQs – Reconfiguration of Breast Screening, Assessment and Symptomatic Breast Services. There is a questionnaire at the end of this document so you can give us your views on our proposed changes to Breast services. You can print off and return this document via mail to the address on the back page of the document.
Alternatively, you can complete the online questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KMFR58D