The BreastCheck programme has confirmed it will resume breast screening on Tuesday next, 27 October 2020.
A new text management system is in place to maximise appointment uptake, and letters are being sent out first to those who were due to be seen in >arch.
The service was paused on 16 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of organisations including Donegal Action for Cancer Care campaigning to have it restored .
It's Chair is Betty Holmes...........
BreastCheck recommencement update for stakeholders – 23 October 2020
The BreastCheck programme will resume breast screening on Tuesday 27 October 2020. Breast screening
was paused on 16 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of our restart is to achieve a
maximum screening invitation rate that is compatible with a safe and controlled follow-up assessment and
our treatment capacity within the health service.
We are restarting by inviting those who have waited longest for screening:
Invitation letters will be sent first to those who had their appointments cancelled in March
Invitations for routine for routine screening will follow
Screening will resume in our BreastCheck units on a countrywide basis
We will gradually reduce our support for symptomatic services as screening increases
We are asking all participants, including new entrants, to check their details on the register
Capacity will be reduced due to social distancing and potential staff limitations due to COVID-19
A new text management system is in place to maximise appointment uptake
A targeted digital information and awareness campaign will aim to raise awareness of screening, provide
information on new safety measures, and encourage those who are invited to attend for screening.
Radio and other media are planned for phase 2.
Screening and Level 5 restrictions
Essential health appointments can continue at Level 5 restrictions. We encourage all participants to attend
for screening when invited. We are continually monitoring the effect of the restrictions, and available
capacity at all parts of the screening chain. If our ability to offer screening changes, we will let you know.
Our clinics and mobile units are working hard to keep people safe when they go for their appointment.
Mobile vans and static units have been upgraded to meet infection control and physical distancing
Staff use of PPE and social distancing will be observed in both static and mobile units.
Reduced cross-county flow of staff and participants.
Going for screening
Although the breast screening test will be the same, screening may seem a little different. Changes to
screening for participants may include:
one appointment letter with no reminder letter
receiving a text before their appointment to confirm attendance
masks to be worn during screening
waiting outside until their appointment time
fewer people in the healthcare building or mobile unit
waiting longer for the appointment due to infection control procedures between each screening test
not being accompanied by a friend or family member in the unit or clinic
entering and exiting the static units through different doors.
Participants are advised to:
make sure they have enough time for parking
plan for the test taking a little longer
bring warm clothes and a rain jacket if not coming by car
bring their own pen to sign any forms required
keep in touch with their clinic ahead of their visit and following their advice
be aware that toilet facilities will not be open in some screening locations.
We urge participants to come for their appointments when called, or to let us know they can’t make it so that
we can reschedule their appointment, or offer their time slot to another person.
Screening is for healthy people who do not have symptoms. We ask all participants to continue to be breast
aware and to contact their doctor if they are worried about symptoms.
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend a screening appointment until they are sure that
they are clear of the illness. They should visit HSE.ie for guidelines and advice. Anyone who has symptoms of
breast cancer should consult their GP without delay.
For more information or for screening unit locations: Freephone 1800 45 45 55, or visit www.breastcheck.ie