Guidance to keep you safe when attending your breast screening appointment
Please DO NOT attend an appointment if you or any members of your household are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 or are self-isolating. If this applies to you, please contact us so that you can reschedule your appointment for a different time.
If you are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding, please contact us for further advice before attending your appointment.
When attending your appointment we have a range of measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19:
• Social distancing measures will be in place - due to this please arrive to your appointment unaccompanied and no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
• There will be additional infection control procedures and clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (face masks, aprons, gloves and face visor)
• Your appointment may be at a clinic that is not your usual venue
• The appointment may take longer than usual.
Wearing a face covering
In line with Government advice, please wear a face covering to your appointment.
If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, you will be required to put on a surgical mask on entry to the hospital (or healthcare setting). The surgical mask should remain in place covering your mouth and nose for duration of your attendance in the hospital (or healthcare setting). This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.
If you are wearing a cloth-based or homemade face covering you will be required to change to a surgical mask on entry to the hospital (or healthcare setting). This is in line with national NHS guidance as a surgical mask provides greater protection than cloth-based or homemade face covering.
Due to the COVID-19 response, our service will have a reduced number of appointments available. If you choose not to attend your appointment, please contact us. It is helpful for us to know why so we can help with any concerns you might have. If you still do not wish to attend, we can offer it to someone else.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact on the NHS, including breast screening. As a result, you may have waited longer than normal for your appointment and we would like to apologise for this. We recommend that you now attend your next scheduled appointment and want to assure you that we will have a range of measures in place to help protect you from coronavirus.
Travelling to and from your appointment
When travelling to and from your appointment, please follow guidelines which include keeping a safe distance from others and travelling by car, bike or walking if possible. Where possible wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser. Go to www.gov.uk and search for ‘staying safe outside your home’.
The East Lancashire Breast Screening Service is part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme providing free breast screening every three years for all eligible women aged 50 up until their 71st birthday.
Our breast screening programme invites approximately 89,000 women from across East Lancashire every three years. We screen in our mobile screening unit which moves to different locations across East Lancashire enabling women to be screened closer to home. We also screen at our main base at the Edith Watson Unit in Burnley General Hospital.
The aim of the NHS Breast Screening Programme is to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the UK by identifying cancers early; usually when they are too small to see or feel. If detected at an early stage, treatment is more successful and there’s a good chance of recovery.
We aim to provide an efficient and high quality Breast Screening Service to all eligible women across East Lancashire, whilst maintaining a high standard of quality of care.
Quality and Safety
The NHS Breast Screening Programme is subject to monitoring by the Quality Assurance Reference Centre (QARC). It helps ensure rigorous quality assurance standards are maintained and that a safe and effective breast screening service is provided to all eligible women.