16 October 2019

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, said:

"It’s extremely promising that these recommendations to improve uptake and provide clear ownership and governance of the NHS Breast Screening Programme could help us prevent even more deaths from breast cancer. Breast screening remains critical to early diagnosis in this country, and we need to do all we can to make the most of it.

"It’s really encouraging to see such a focus on initiatives to help more women make breast screening a part of their lives. Uptake has fallen to a decade-low and we hope that measures such as more flexible appointments could make a real difference in reversing this trend. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be successful.

"Following recent errors, the move to give responsibility for delivering the Breast Screening Programme to a single organisation is a major step forward, and we hope this clarity will help to deliver much-needed progress on key challenges facing the service.

"We’re also delighted to see the recommendation that more targeted screening, such as for women with a family history of breast cancer, should be incorporated into the Breast Screening Programme. This will be critical to ensuring the programme is able to adapt more easily as we move towards a new era of more personalised screening as the evidence emerges.

"We now look forward to these recommendations being implemented as quickly as possible, and hope they will be supported by investment and a sustained focus on screening. With more women being diagnosed with breast cancer, we need to invest in new technology, IT infrastructure, and in recruiting and training new experts, to enable NHS services to cope with increasing demand over the next decade. The workforce is the backbone of the health service and we need to act now to address the continued staffing pressures in the screening workforce."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact the Breast Cancer Now press office on 07436107914 or 0345 092 0807 or at press@breastcancernow.org