The Western Health and Social Care Trust’s Breast Screening Unit, at Altnagelvin, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To mark this occasion staff will host an Open Day at the Breast Screening Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital on Tuesday, May 10, between 11am and 2pm.
The event is open to the public and people are invited to join the staff of the unit for a cup of coffee and a look around the Breast Screening Unit and the mobile Breast Screening Unit, which is currently situated beside the Screening Centre.
Breast Screening was introduced by the Western Health Board Trust in 1991 before becoming the Altnagelvin Hospitals Trust, followed by the Western Health and Social Care Trust in 2007. The programme initially invited women between the ages of 50 and 64 years for screening, but since 2009 it has been inviting women from 50 to 70 years.
In 1991 the screening population for the Western Unit was approximately 16,000 women but since then with extension of the catchment area to include Causeway, the raising of the upper age to 70 and the general gradual increase in population the number of women to be screened by the Western Unit is currently approximately 48,000 women.
Women are currently invited once every three years for screening. Women over the age of 70 years are still entitled to breast screening but need to contact the unit to make an appointment. You can contact the Breast Screening Unit on 02871 611363 or Altnagelvin.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of the breast screening services are now delivered from two mobile units which have the latest digital x-ray equipment. This allows the service to be taken closer to women and, where possible, mobiles are being located away from hospital sites and closer to GP Practices. The current sites used for screening can be found on the Western Trust website.