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Breast Screening Service grateful to the Hospice of St Francis

07 July 2017

The Beds & Herts Breast Screening Service, managed by the L&D, has expressed its gratitude and thanks to The Hospice of St Francis for welcoming its mobile unit to its grounds for five months and stepping into the breach when no other Berkhamsted sites were available.

Screening chiefs say that without the Hospice’s help, it would not have been able to provide its vital service to women within their community.

Nearly 8,200 women from Berkhamsted and the surrounding area were invited for a routine mammogram between January and June and at 79%, the uptake rate for the core screening age group of 50-70 years was ‘exceptionally high.’

Anne-Marie Leach, the service’s Deputy Screening Manager, said, “ I’d like to express our thanks to Hospice CEO, Steve Jamieson and all of the team at The Hospice of St Francis for making us so very welcome during our extended stay.

“We were only meant to be there for three months but we ended up having to stay another two and the Hospice couldn’t have been more accommodating, allowing us to take up nine spaces in its car park for our mobile unit and visitors.Ms Leach explained, “In the past, we’ve been supported by Dacorum Borough Council on a town centre site, but this year it was unavailable due to the multi-storey car park scheduled to be built off Lower Kings Road.

“Had The Hospice of St Francis not kindly stepped into the breach at the last moment we would not have been able to provide this service to women within their community. Appointments would have been offered at the Breast Screening Unit at the L&D which would have made it difficult for some women to attend their regular screening invitation.

“The 79% uptake rate for the core screening age group is 3% higher than the 76% we achieved three years ago and 9% higher than the national target of 70% and this is due in no small part to the hospice’s generosity in hosting us and allowing this service to be delivered in the local community.
“Many of our clients voiced their appreciation at being able to access the service close to home and an additional 1,574 women – mainly over the age of 70 – self-referred for screening. The more women we can encourage to take up this appointment, the more successful we will be in the early detection of breast cancer.”

Hospice CEO Steve Mr Jamieson said, “We were very pleased to be able to host the screening service in its hour of need and to welcome thousands of local women, who might otherwise not have known about or visited the Hospice before, to come up to the grounds and find out a little more about us if they wanted to.

“For many, who had never visited before, the Hospice was a bit of a revelation. Many of them remarked on our beautiful gardens and discovered that the Hospice is a happy, uplifting place, which is here to help people at all stages of their diagnosis of a life-limiting condition – not just at end of life – and that’s a very positive message to share.”

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