31 January 2013
Breast Screening services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust are set to reach more women than ever before thanks to the arrival of a new £300,000 mobile screening unit.
Iain Gilmour, chairman of the Shrewsbury League of Friends, and Alan
Millward, chairman of the Friends of the PRH, with members of the Breast
Screening Service and the new mobile screening unit
The arrival of the mobile unit means the Trust can now offer a fully digital screening service. Fully digital rooms at both the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital have already been installed thanks to large donations from the League of Friends at both hospitals and the latest addition provides a further boost.
Around 22,000 women aged between 50 and 70 are invited to be screened every year, and it is hoped that the service could be expanded in the future to accommodate women between 47 and 73.
Amanda Royle, the Lead Superintendent Radiographer at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said: “At some point this unit will visit all of the screening sites within Shropshire. There are sites in Bishop’s Castle, Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Newport, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Telford and Whitchurch.
“It’s a significant investment for the Trust. The total cost of the mobile unit and all of the mammography equipment that has had to be installed on it comes to £258,000 plus VAT.
“There has been a drive nationally to go fully digital but it has huge cost implications. Without the generous support the League of Friends have offered us, we just wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
The League of Friends in both Shrewsbury and Telford have been key to the modernisation process, donating hundreds of thousands of pounds for the new equipment. The Telford League of Friends funded a fully digital room at the Princess Royal in April 2011, while the Shrewsbury League of Friends contributed funds to a mobile unit and a digital room at Shrewsbury in 2010 as well as a second room at RSH which was opened in September last year.
Dr Marie Metelko, Shropshire’s Breast Screening Programme Director, added: “On both sites, the League of Friends have been exceptional supporters of the breast service. The service is as good as it is because of the hardware we have and we wouldn’t have that without the League of Friends.”