A major review of Scotland’s breast screening programme which makes 17 recommendations to strengthen and improve it has been published.
The report recommends ways to make the breast screening programme more accessible, resilient and sustainable, to drive improvements and build upon successful delivery of services. These include developing a single programme-wide workforce plan that focuses on role development and redesign, training capacity, leadership for major developments which will help to automate aspects of activity, and benchmarked staffing levels. It also recommends digital initiatives, including exploring the potential for adoption of Artificial Intelligence in breast screening mammography.
A new Breast Screening Modernisation Programme Board, chaired by Dr Marzi Davies, will take forward the recommendations from the report as well as considering additional ways to modernise the service.
Dr Davies has been a consultant Breast and General radiologist since 1991, with 30 years’ clinical experience in Breast Radiology. For the last five years, she was Clinical Director for GG&C Breast Imaging and the West of Scotland Breast Screening Service. Dr Davies has a plethora of wider experience in the field.
Separate to the modernisation work, the Scottish Breast Screening Programme will enable those aged 71 years and over to self-refer for appointments again from autumn 2022, in a phased way which won’t impact on the main screening programme.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“This report sets out a number of key learning points and opportunities for improving breast screening services for women across North Ayrshire and Scotland.
“The programme is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, and one of the priorities is ensuring sufficient capacity for women aged between 50-70 to be screened every three years.”
Dr Davies said:
“The publication of this review and the establishment of the Breast Screening Modernisation Board represent an exciting opportunity to ensure resilience and deliver a sustainable, more person-centred breast screening programme in Scotland. I’m privileged to have been asked to lead this work, which will drive improvements in a number of areas and build upon an already high-quality and effective service.”