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Statement in relation to the national breast screening issues for older women

It was confirmed yesterday (2 May) that a number of women are to be offered a catch-up breast screen, because they did not receive an invitation for a final screen, as part of the routine NHS Breast Screening Programme.

Poole Hospital, which operates breast screening services across Dorset, learned of this issue yesterday, and can now confirm that following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Health, a number of women in Dorset, currently aged 70-79 are affected. Women outside this age range are not affected.

The issue was identified by Public Health England, following a review of the national database, which provides information to local screening services on who should be invited for screening.

All affected women who are registered with a GP will receive a letter from Public Health England by the end of May. There is no need for women to contact their GP directly prior to this letter. A national helpline is also available – 0800 169 2692.

The breast screening service in Dorset will be providing extra screening to undertake screening these women as a priority.

“We acknowledge that this situation is deeply concerning for many women,” said Dr Alistair Thomson, consultant radiologist and clinical director for the Dorset Breast Screening Service.

“As providers of the screening service in the county, I would like to reassure them that we are doing all we can to offer screening invitations urgently to this group of women.”


Women aged 70 to 79

Information for women who may have missed an invitation to a screen

Some women aged between 70 and 79 are being offered the opportunity for a breast screen. This is because some women did not receive an invitation for a final screen, as part of the routine NHS Breast Screening Programme.

The Breast Screening Programme usually invites women to have a screen once every 3 years when aged between 50 and 70 (up to their 71st birthday). This means women will usually receive their final screen sometime between their 68th and 71st birthdays.

Most women can be reassured that they will have received their final invitation but there are some women, now aged 70 to 79, who have missed an invitation due to a problem that dates back to 2009.

All affected women registered with a GP will receive a letter by the end of May with further information.

A helpline is also available: 0800 169 2692.

How do I know if I did not receive my final screening invitation?

All women affected who are registered with a GP will be informed by letter from Public Health England (PHE) by the end of May 2018.

Women affected aged up to their 72nd birthday will receive a letter inviting them for a catch-up screen.

Women aged 72 to 79 will receive a letter providing clear information on what to do next if they want to have a screen.

These women, aged 72 to 79, will be asked to contact the helpline on 0800 169 2692 (set up to support women about this issue) who will liaise with the local Breast Screening Service to arrange an appointment and invitation letter on their behalf.

Women, aged 70 to 79, currently registered with a GP, who do not receive a letter from PHE can be assured they are not affected and do not need a catch-up screen.

However, if you are not currently registered with a GP and believe you did not receive an invitation for a screen sometime between your 68th and 71st birthday, then we advise that you contact the helpline on 0800 169 2692.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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