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Transformed breast screening facilities enhance care and experience for patients at UHMBT

17 July 2023

  • Making improvements
  • Technology
  • Furness General Hospital

Nicole Chiu-Richards, Mammographer, standing in front of a mammogram machine in the new breast screening unit at FGHA beautifully designed breast screening space has been created at Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow to enhance care for patients and to provide an improved environment.

The refurbished and expanded space, which has state-of-the-art scanning technology and mood lighting, is ensuring that patients have the best possible experience with the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

Emily Brooks, Deputy Head of Breast Screening for the service, said: “We have made significant improvements to our service by putting in new equipment and redesigning the breast screening room at FGH.

“We have expanded the space to create a much more attractive environment for our patients and colleagues.”

The North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service provides routine breast screening for women over the age of 50, and offers services to anyone referred to the service by a GP.

Emily, a mammographer by profession, said: “If anything is found during a routine breast screening appointment, the person would be recalled and we would investigate.

“The new equipment enables us to have a 3D view which provides a lot more detail and helps with locating any lesions. It’s the latest technology and it’s highly reliable, which provides reassurance for our patients.

“Patients referred to us by a GP see a surgeon, have a consultation, have an ultrasound scan and receive all of their results on the same day. Everything happens during the same appointment, which means less time for our patients to wait.”

A mammogram machineThe new equipment in the breast screening room was funded by NHS England and the space was designed by the Trust’s Estates and Capital Services Team. The room is based in The Furness Suite breast screening unit at FGH.

Nicole Chiu-Richards, a mammographer with UHMBT, said: “It’s much better for our patients because the space is bigger and it’s nicely designed.

“The new equipment means we can provide an even better experience and service for patients. From a staff perspective, it’s much nicer to work in because everything is new, there’s more space and it has a nice atmosphere. Everybody is excited to use the space.

“We have a big uptake for breast screening in the South Cumbria region. We can respond very quickly for people who have symptoms of breast cancer. We see women and men in the unit at FGH.”

Emily added: “Our Estates and Capital Services Team has done a fantastic job with the room. A huge amount of thought and care was put into the design. Everyone has been focused on improving the experience for patients which has been great.

“Our next steps are to create similar rooms at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) in Kendal. Work is starting on the room at the RLI in July and at WGH in October, so we’ll eventually have new breast screening rooms at all three of our main hospital sites.”

For more information about the Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service at UHMBT, please go to: https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/our-services/services/breast-services