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National Screening Service BreastCheck stakeholder update

BreastCheck

Routine breast screening is resuming nationwide this week, as invites are being sent out to eligible women for screening appointments dated from 08 March 2021. The focus of the resumption of routine screening is to achieve a maximum invitation rate that is compatible with a safe and controlled follow-up assessment and our treatment capacity within the health service.

We are resuming by inviting those who have waited longest for routine screening:

  • Invitation letters will be sent first to those who had their appointments cancelled in January 2021
  • Invitations for all other women due routine screening will follow
  • Screening will resume in our BreastCheck units on a countrywide basis
  • Women in the assessment phase of breast screening will continue to be seen

Breast screening capacity is reduced due to social distancing and potential staff limitations due to COVID-19. Therefore we are asking all participants, including new entrants, to check their telephone details on the register as our new text management system is in place to maximise appointment uptake.

If women cannot make their appointment, we are asking them to let us know, so that we can rearrange their appointment and offer the slot to someone else.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend a screening appointment until they are sure that they are clear of the illness. They should visit HSE.ie for guidelines and advice.

Screening and Level 5 restrictions 

Breast screening restarted in October 2020 after it was paused on Public Health and Government advice due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, BreastCheck has been operating a reduced service since the beginning of January 2021, due to unprecedented levels of the virus within our community.

With levels of the virus dropping within the community, and the opening up of treatment pathways, BreastCheck is now beginning the safe reintroduction of routine screening. Our clinics and mobile units are working hard to keep people safe when they go for their appointment. BreastCheck’s programme of vaccination of all patient-facing staff will further reduce the risk to participants and staff of COVID-19 and will support the safe restart of services. Measures to ensure participant and staff safety include:

  • The vaccination programme for our radiographers is complete.
  • Vaccination of remaining BreastCheck staff is continuing as per the HSE vaccination-roll out protocol. 
  • Mobile vans and static units have been upgraded to meet infection control and physical distancing requirements. 
  • Staff use of PPE and social distancing will be observed in both static and mobile units.
  • Reduced cross-county flow of staff and participants.

We are continually monitoring the effect of the restrictions, and available capacity at all parts of the screening chain. If our ability to offer screening changes, we will let you know.

Screening is for healthy people who do not have symptoms. We ask all participants to continue to be breast aware and to contact their doctor if they are worried about symptoms.

For more information or for screening unit locations: Freephone 1800 45 45 55, or visit www.breastcheck.ie

Contacting BreastCheck screening units

People who have questions or concerns about screening appointments should contact their units without delay. Contact details for each of the units are as follows:

Eccles Unit, 36 Eccles Street, Dublin 7
Phone: 01-8826200 / eccles@breastcheck.ie
Covers: North Dublin (& County Dublin), Cavan, Carlow, Kilkenny, Longford, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Westmeath

Merrion Unit, Merrion Road, Dublin 4
Phone: 01-2235800merrion@breastcheck.ie
Covers: South Dublin (& County Dublin), Kildare, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow

Southern Unit, Infirmary Road, Ballintemple, Cork
Phone: 021-4649700southern@breastcheck.ie 
Covers: Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary South, Waterford

Western Unit, Newcastle Road, Galway
Phone: 091-580600western@breastcheck.ie 
Covers: Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, North Tipperary

For queries, call the Freephone information line on 1800 45 45 55, visit www.screeningservice.ie or email communications@screeningservice.ie 


 

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