14 July 2020

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

“It’s encouraging to hear that the breast screening programme in Scotland will be restarting shortly. But with over 50,000 women in Scotland missing out on vital breast screening since the service was suspended, it’s vital that clear plans are put in place to fully restore the service including offering catch-up appointments to everyone affected as soon as possible.

“Crucially, we urge the Scottish Government to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the already-stretched workforce to meet this huge backlog and to avoid any cancers going undetected for longer. It is unclear how long it will take to get the service up-to-date and we must now do all we can to support people through any uncertainty as they wait to attend.

“The NHS Breast Screening Programme remains vital in helping to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage, preventing around 1,300 women dying from the disease each year across the UK. While screening always comes with some risks, we’d encourage all women to attend their appointments when invited. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be successful.

“It’s now essential that all eligible women are given the information they need about new safety measures being introduced to protect them from coronavirus at screening to help feel confident in attending their appointment. Anyone with any questions or concerns about breast screening can call our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000 for support and information. Our nurses are just at the end of the phone.”