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ENCOURAGEMENT: Hospice welcomes back breast screening service 

 Published on: 26th November 2019   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Uncategorized

The Hospice of St Francis is to welcome the Beds and Herts Breast Screening Service back to its Spring Garden Lane site for five months from November 12.

Around 8,500 women aged 50-70 registered with six GP surgeries in Berkhamsted and Tring will be invited to attend for routine screening and service bosses are hopeful that uptake will continue to be good.

The Berkhamsted-based Hospice last hosted the service in 2017 when the 79 per cent uptake rate for the core screening age group of 50-70 years was 3 per cent higher than the 76 per cent achieved in 2014 and 9 per cent higher than the national minimum target of 70 per cent.

This year, the service hopes to encourage more women to attend with the introduction of an appointment reminder service seven days and subsequently 48 hours before their appointment with a phone call or text message.

Anne-Marie Leach, the service’s Deputy Screening Manager, said: “The Beds and Herts Breast Screening Service is once again indebted to The Hospice of St Francis for its ongoing, valuable support in agreeing to host the unit on its return to Berkhamsted.

“It provides a very warm welcome to women attending and generously allows use of its facilities, enabling us to deliver screening to women in a location that is both local and convenient – things which are vital to ensuring that as many women as possible are able to take up the invitation and contribute to the early detection of breast cancer.”

Ms Leach added that without the Hospice’s help, it would not have been able to provide its vital service to women within their community. 

Instead, appointments would have been offered at the Breast Screening Unit at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, making it difficult for some women to attend.

Hospice CEO, Kate Phipps-Wiltshire, said: “We are proud to welcome the breast cancer screening service back to The Hospice of St Francis. We can help the screening team and thousands of local women by offering them our beautiful gardens and a warm welcome to help make the experience as easy as possible.”

The service will also be inviting a randomised selection of women aged 47 to 50 and 70 to 73 so it can contribute to the national age extension trial – women over 73 can also self-refer.

As a result of routine screening on its last visit to the Hospice, 180 women were asked to attend the screening centre at Luton and Dunstable Hospital for further tests and of these 65 women were subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer and referred for treatment (eight per 1,000 screened).

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