Technological developments and investment in new equipment are helping to boost breast screening services for women in North Lancashire and South Cumbria.
With the extension of eligible screening age groups having started, the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has also started to implement a digital mammography service.
It replaces traditional X-ray machines and conventional analogue mammography.
The new equipment allows images to be manipulated to improve a radiologist’s ability to interpret breast tissue.
In addition to the investment, the trust has rolled out the extension of the age group eligible for breast screening, the range now being from 47 to 73 years of age instead of 50 to 70.
This will mean an increase of between 30% and 40% of women invited for screening each year.
Dr Janet Lavelle, clinical director of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are now introducing an operational Picture Archive and Communications System (PACS) into our screening departments.
“It represents the latest technology in digital imaging which provides better quality images and replaces the need for conventional X-ray film handling and retrieval.
“Images and their corresponding reports can be viewed instantly and securely across our hospital sites.
“Ultimately, this means better access to patient information and continuity of care.”
Key benefits of the new service include faster delivery of medical images to clinicians and the ability to view cases with the secure transfer of images between different hospital sites.
For more information, visit www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk.