MSP wants NHS Lanarkshire to do more to ensure women get screened

NHS Lanarkshire is failing to meet potentially lifesaving targets on breast screening after it emerged only 68 per cent of eligible patients are being tested.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:55 am
A specialist analyses the data from screenings of a mammogram which has a potentially lifesaving effect  yet uptake for the test is not as it should be

That is just not good enough, according to Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell, who believes that greater steps need taken to push that up to the minimum 70 per cent target that is required.

She claims there is “simply no excuse” for the health board to fall short.

Calling for action, Mrs Mitchell said: “The Scottish Government must now ensure all women have access to early breast cancer screening, regardless of where they live.

“It would be totally unacceptable to wait until women’s lives are at risk, before taking steps to work with NHS boards to ensure screening programmes are working effectively.”

However, the health board stressed this failed to take several factors into account.

Celia Briffa-Watt, consultant in Public Health at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The uptake is falling across the whole of Scotland and we are aware Lanarkshire has always had one of the lowest uptake rates for breast screening. 

“This is due to the high levels of socio-economic deprivation in the area.

“NHS Lanarkshire has taken a range of actions over recent years to improve breast screening rates and continues to prioritise this work.

“We also have a Cancer Research UK facilitator who works closely with our GP practices on a range of cancer issues including breast screening.”

Ms Briffa-Watt also stressed that anyone wishing to have a screening simply needs to make a quick call to arrange one .

The specialist health team can be contacted on 0141 800 8800.