Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has officially opened three new breast screening units.
The mobile screening vans will travel around the South Lancashire area to allow the most number of patients to be seen, with one of the three currently located at Ormskirk District General Hospital.
Marking the occasion was Member of Parliament for Wigan Lisa Nandy who cut a pink ribbon on the new unit currently at WWL’s Thomas Linacre Centre.
At the ribbon cutting, Lisa had high praise for the South Lancashire Breast Screening Service saying; “This is such an amazing service and is so important for the people of the Wigan Borough.
“By taking breast screening out into the community more women will be checked, cancers will be detected and lives will be saved.
“The staff are incredibly friendly and any member of the public who uses this service will be guaranteed a warm welcome and fabulous treatment.”
Pat Gardener, 64, from Winstanley, was one of the first patients to be seen in the new unit and said; “The service is so friendly and it’s very handy having the service so local, especially with the appointments being so worthwhile.”
The South Lancashire Screening Service invites around 30,000 women to a breast screening appointment every year and the new units aim to offer patients a welcoming and relaxing environment for their screening.
The breast screening service is also currently taking part in age extension trial meaning that any eligible women aged between 47 and 73 may be called for an appointment.
Breast screening remains a highly effective way of detecting cancer at an early stage and delivers the best chance of successful treatment.
Sheena Hilton, NHS Breast Screening Manager at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have these new units for our patients within the South Lancashire area.
“In certain areas of Lancashire, fewer than half of women aged 50 to 70 attend to be screened every three years, even though screening is free, fast and easily accessible.
“If breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage of its development, it is estimated that after five years 99 out of 100 women diagnosed will still be alive, so to being screened regularly and detecting changes early is very important.”
If anyone requires further information about breast screening, contact the South Lancashire Breast Screening Unit at The Thomas Linacre Centre, Wigan on 01942 774713, or contact your own GP.