Breast screening in Northern Ireland

Published: 03 April 2020 Ezine

Should we still be screening?

The Northern Ireland government response: 

"With respect to breast screening, the minister (for health) has advised that the routine screening programme is paused. Higher risk screening will continue, given the higher risk of breast cancer associated with individuals in the programme, but out of area higher risk screening will cease and all women should be screened within the Northern Trust Higher Risk unit. These actions are for three months in the first instance.

It will be imperative that no one misses a screen as a result of these changes to the programme. The PHA will be in contact with the relevant professional groups to ensure that failsafes are in place in each unit and across the programme.

It is important that anyone who is already in a screening pathway is able to complete that pathway as clinically appropriate. This includes anyone who has been referred for further investigation following their initial screen and anyone who has been diagnosed as a result of screening and requires treatment."

Dr Sinéad McGuinness
Consultant in Public Health Medicine
QA Lead, Northern Ireland Breast Screening Programme