Statement from Leanne Coulson, Interim Head of Department, North Lancashire & South Cumbria Breast Screening Service, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust:
It has been brought to our attention that the women of North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service are concerned that the breast screening van will no longer visit Fleetwood or Poulton. We would like to reassure all screening clients, as part of our mobile screening van fleet rotation, the service will certainly continue to visit both Fleetwood and Poulton in the future.
As direct result of the pandemic, the screening service paused for a number of months and is currently in a period of recovery, we are now inviting more eligible women for screening each month. To support recovery a Notational change to the invite system was implemented across all screening services, unfortunately this change has resulted in difficult decisions being made with regards to screening sites and van moves. Fleetwood makes up 8% of the Blackpool and Flyde Coast population, the majority of women in the Fleetwood area who are eligible to be screened this year/end last year have already received their invitations. Going forward, approximately 25 women per month from Fleetwood, due to the change in the way in which invitations are made, will be invited to attend. At present and due to increased demand across other sites, we can confirm that the screening service will not be moving a van to Fleetwood in 2022 . A van move to Poulton in March 21 did not go ahead as planned due to unforeseen circumstances with electrical supply, we are now aware of this issue and can confirm it will not impact on any future van moves to Poulton. We are planning to recover the service sometime later this year, once the service is recovered we will certainly revisit service planning, which includes van sites and van moves to support the whole of the North Lancashire and South Cumbria screening population.
The health and wellbeing of all women in the Fleetwood and Poulton areas remains of upmost importance to our service, many ladies from these areas have attended but we are fully aware of the transport difficulties faced by many others when being invited elsewhere for screening and the effect this has on attendance. At this current time, we are not able to move the van to Fleetwood or Poulton. In the meantime, we have 3 screening vans, which are currently situated at Lytham Health Centre, Palatine Leisure Centre and The Royal Lancaster Infirmary, we welcome attendance at these sites. If you have received an invite to screening, please email email@example.com, return your freepost booking slip or contact the screening office on 01524 583050 to book your screening appointment.
Thank you for your understanding and support. The Breast Screening Team are working incredibly hard to provide the best service possible despite the current climate.