Fewer than 500 women in Donegal screened by Breastcheck before Covid-19 pause

Screening resumed at the end of October

Breastcheck has a new location in Sligo

Approximately 150,000 screening invitations were paused between March and October

Fewer than 500 Donegal women were screened by BreastCheck this year before the service was paused in March.

Figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week show 482 women from the county were screened before the service was paused due to Covid-19. 

Screening resumed at the end of October and data is only available up to March 16, when screening was halted. 

The figures, which were released to the Regional Health Forum West, show that  6,638 women from Donegal were screened in 2018 and  3,974 in 2019.

Screening takes place on an area-by-area basis every two years.

The HSE said approximately 150,000 screening invitations were paused between March and October.

Fiona Murphy, chief executive of the National Screening Service, said that owing to the pause in screening and ongoing Covid-19 preventative measures, it may take longer than two years to complete the current round of screening. 

“While we do not wish for any increase in the period between screens, screening will still be within European norms. Ireland is fortunate to have a two-year interval compared to Britain which has a three-yearly cycle,” she said.

“We have developed a targeted information campaign which is asking people to come for screening when called, so that their test results can be returned in a timely manner and any follow-up procedures scheduled.

“In addition, we are actively recruiting staff and looking at other ways to maximise capacity.

We continue to urge all people to be aware of symptoms and not to wait for screening, but to contact their GP if they have any concerns.”

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