St Hugh’s Hospital is providing the NHS breast screening service a site to locate its scanner in a two year zero rental agreement.
Starting this week, a mobile screening unit will be sited in the grounds of St Hugh’s, in Peaks Lane, Grimsby.
For some time, the Humberside Breast Screening Service has been searching for a more permanent location to site its mobile screening unit when it visits the town.
The new arrangement with St Hugh’s provides assurance that women can continue to be screened locally and provides more certainty over where screening will take place.
The initial two-year agreement with St Hugh’s will see women screened on site from Tuesday 20th April to February 2022, after which the van will move on to a different part of the region before it is scheduled to return in August 2022.
Karen Beadle, Superintendent Radiographer for the Humberside Breast Screening Service, said: “Breast screening can help to save lives by finding abnormal changes in the breasts early, often before they can be seen or felt through self-examination. Catching any changes in the breast early mean that we are much more likely to be able to ensure a positive, long term outcome for our patients.
“We know that one of the key factors influencing local women to take up the offer of breast screening is convenience; the ability to be screened quickly and near to home or a place of work.
“That’s why our arrangement with St Hugh’s is such good news; it not only gives us certainty about where our screening unit will be when it spends time in Grimsby over the next two years, but more importantly women will also have some assurance that screening appointments will remain local for the foreseeable future.
“We’d like to offer our thanks to Freshney Green Primary Care Centre who have been hosting the mobile unit in recent months, and to say how grateful we are to St Hugh’s for their generosity and for helping us find a workable alternative for local women.”
More than 150,000 women across the Humber region aged 50 to 70 are routinely invited for screening every three years via their GP surgery. In North East Lincolnshire, uptake averages just 66%, reinforcing the need to make screening as easy and accessible as possible.
Women are being assured that measures have been put in place to keep them safe in the context of Covid-19. Karen continued: “We’ve been operating the service throughout the pandemic and work to very strict infection control procedures.
“Ladies attending their appointments will need to wear a mask and our staff will be wearing appropriate PPE as part of our safety measures. We would like to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.”
Ashley Brown, the director of St Hugh’s, has welcomed the service. He said: “We understand how important screening services are and I’m delighted to be able to offer our space at without any rental fees. It’s important that local women have a convenient and accessible location to visit.
“This is truly community-based, and there are no parking charges or restrictions to consider, either for all patients attending St Hugh’s. We know the importance of being able access potentially-life saving screenings close to home. This arrangement enables the service to continue this provision rather than asking women to travel out of the area.”
St Hugh’s, an independent healthcare provider, has worked closely with the NHS for some years. The hospital is part of the UK-wide initiative, which allows NHS patients to receive their treatment at independent facilities. Currently St Hugh’s are working closely with surrounding NHS Trusts, providing treatment to long-waiting patients within weeks of transferring their care.
And the Covid-19 pandemic has seen even closer collaboration. St Hugh’s is working with NHS hospitals in Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Hull and Lincoln to identify patients suitable for treatment at its Peaks Lane site who have the highest clinical need and who have been waiting the longest. So far, more than 3,400 long-waiting NHS patients have been treated there.
St Hugh’s has also provided three ventilators to Grimsby’s Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital to increase the amount of intensive care beds available for people with the virus.
Mr Brown added: “We have an excellent working relationship with our local NHS colleagues. By offering our site in the heart of Grimsby, we hope to make it easier for women to attend their screening appointments.”
- The Humberside Breast Screening Service provides free breast screening for women across Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire. Almost 150,000 women from the local area aged between 50 and 70 are invited every three years for breast screening. The screening procedure itself takes around 6 minutes and a full mammogram appointment usually takes no longer than 30 minutes. It is estimated that the NHS Breast Screening Programme saves the lives of 1,400 women in England every year. For more information, visit www.hey.nhs.uk/hbss