The continued decline in the number of women taking up their first breast screening invitation is something Nuffield Health takes very seriously within its focus on the health and wellbeing of the population.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre data shows the proportion of women aged 50-70 screened fell from 70.1 per cent in 2004-05, to 63.3 per cent in 2014-15.
The number of women receiving breast screenings has also fallen for the fourth year in a row, the data showing that the proportion of women in England taking up their initial invitation for breast cancer screening is at its lowest level in a decade.
Commenting on the matter, Nassar Hussain, the manager of Nuffield Health’s state of the art Diagnostic Suite at Citylabs in Manchester said, “These figures do give cause for concern, as all evidence shows that early diagnosis can vastly increase treatment success rates.
“It is hoped that investigation is undertaken to understand the reasons behind the increase in women choosing not to be screened.
“Many women find it to be an anxious experience, which could be one contributing factor. At our Diagnostic Suite in Manchester, our first class environment provides a relaxing, bespoke setting for our patients centred on patient experience, which can alleviate some of this anxiety.”
The private facility, which opened earlier this year, is conveniently located in the heart of the city, off Oxford Road, in the former Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Nuffield Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organisation, delivers world class MR, X-ray, mammography, CT, cardiac and ultrasound services from the 7,279 sq ft space.
One of the common pieces of feedback received from women who have been scanned at the Diagnostic Suite to date is that they have felt relaxed and at ease, something which Nassar believes is the key to success in terms of encouraging women to be screened.
Under the NHS Breast Screening Programme, women are invited for their first routine check between the ages of 50 and 53 followed by every three years, up until the age of 70.
The Manchester Diagnostic Suite offers women the opportunity to be screened earlier, as part of their health prevention and wellbeing proposition. Nassar commented, “We offer mammograms for patients over the age of 40, including for those who wish to self-refer, which allows for peace of mind and earlier detection.
“Here at the suite we have a five-star environment with a focus on dignity for patients. We understand patients’ anxiety around the breast screening process and treat each one as an individual. Our highly qualified, specialist team give each patient as much time as they need before, during and after their scan, to help alleviate any concerns and make the experience as comfortable as possible.
We also feel that building a rapport with patients is essential to their state of mind and general wellbeing when they are going through the breast screening process, and our short wait times and quick turnaround for results again allows for peace of mind.”
Nassar explained it is Nuffield Health’s long-term vision to help transform the health prospects of the people of Manchester.
“We encourage all women to check themselves regularly and reassuringly, Nuffield Health’s latest figures show 96% of scans have normal results”. he said. “However, even when the news is not so positive, the earlier breast cancer is detected the more likely it can be treated successfully.
“With our dedicated team, state-of-the-art equipment and first class environment, our Diagnostic Suite can play a part in helping to improve the number of women in the region going for breast screening, with our absolute focus on patient care and experience.”