Reconfiguration of Breast Screening, Assessment and Symptomatic services

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Reconfiguration of Breast Screening, Assessment and Symptomatic services update - September 2021


Scan.pngWarrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WHH), in Partnership with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation trust (STHK), currently provides Breast Screening Services (Mammography), Breast Assessment and Symptomatic Breast Services for Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley.

Between 28 May and 8 July 2021 WHH undertook a consultation on proposals to reconfigure these services. 

The Screening Service manages and co-ordinates a three-year rolling programme of routine mammography across the region. Breast Screening is offered to all women aged 50 - 70 (up to their 71st birthday).

Following a mammogram, any patients requiring further investigation are requested to attend a Breast Assessment clinic to obtain a timely diagnosis of mammographic abnormalities detected during screening. Breast Assessment Clinics run twice weekly at Kendrick Wing, Warrington Hospital and once per week at the Burney Breast Unit, St Helens Hospital to ensure results are provided rapidly.

Assessment clinics use a triple assessment:
•    mammography/ultrasound scans
•    clinical examination
•    image-guided needle biopsy, if required

Assessment clinics are designed to enable patients to undergo all these investigations (if appropriate) in a single attendance.

Symptomatic Breast Services 

Symptomatic services comprise rapid access outpatient clinics and inpatient surgical services.

These services are accessed by a direct referral, usually by a GP. They do not currently form part of the Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley Breast Screening and Assessment Service. All adults, regardless of age or gender can be referred to the Symptomatic Service.
The first stage of the Symptomatic Service involves an outpatient meeting with a Consultant and undergoing similar investigations to the Screening pathway Assessment Clinics.

We are proposing to reconfigure these services to develop a Centre of Excellence based at The Captain sir Tom Moore Building (CSTM) at the Halton Hospital site.

CMTC.jpgThe proposals will see Breast Assessment and Symptomatic Assessment Services moved from Warrington hospital to the CSTM which will:

  • ensure patients receive the best specialist care in a more supportive environment
  • allows for more efficient use of equipment and scheduling
  • create a rapid service, which will lead to shorter waits for patients due to improved efficiency with the same level of staffing.
  • Futureproof the service structure against predicted higher future demand.

Our proposals will co-locate on the same site:Breast Service Plan crop 1.jpg

  • Screening and Assessment Services
  • Symptomatic Breast Surgery Service.
  • The CANtreat Chemotherapy service
  • Macmillan Delamere Cancer Support and Information Centre.

This provides patients with the option of having all stages of assessment, advice and treatment on the same site. 

Frequently Asked Questions during the consultation:

How will you ensure that the proposed new facility will be accessible and will there be designated disabled spaces available?

The new facility will be compliant with accessibility standards and there are currently 11 designated disabled parking bays outside the Captain Sir Tom Moore building. 

How will you ensure that the needs of male patients are met in the design of the new facility eg waiting areas?

We are mindful of serving the needs of all patients to the Breast service and will have areas which will accomodate those patients who may feel more comfortable waiting for their appointments away from the main waiting areas.

How are clients with Learning Disabilities being involved in the consultation? 

We have shared details of the consultation with local Healthwatch, partners and local advocacy groups to endeavour to make our consultation as representative of our communities as possible. We welcome suggestions for further groups to consult with and can attend local groups/forums on request. Anyone wishing to do this or access our consultation document in other formats should please contact  

The shuttle buses can be difficult for people with mobility issues to use.  Will they be disadvantaged by the travel needs in the change of venue?

We have looked in detail at the people who access the assessment services and currently there are slightly more patients from the Halton area accessing the assessment service than Warrington, so we hope that there won’t be a significant issue for patients.
The disability access at Halton and particularly at Captain Sir Tom Moore Building is very good from a parking and building accessibility point of view. The access for people with disabilities on this site is much better than the facilities currently at Kendrick Wing, Warrington Hospital. There are currently 11 disabled parking bays outside Captain Sir Tom Moore building.

Will patients using the new site venue be able to use patient transport services to access appointments, if required?

Patients who need to use Patient Transport Services will still be able to access the new site.

Have the new proposed clinical settings been developed in partnership with clients with impairments e.g. sight, audio and mobility to ensure they are accessible for all with long term conditions/disabilities?

Our development team have been working closely with a number of groups in the development of the proposed new facility and we welcome people to come and see and comment on the plans in detail to check that they would meet their needs. Please contact if you wish to do this.

Effective communication will be key in the  service move - will the teams be using the same systems, EPR/Lorenzo and are there appropriate sharing systems in place?
As this is part of our existing hospital site and service all existing systems and data sharing mechanisms will continue.

Have male groups and support services been included in the consultations e.g. Directions, Offload? Did they have any specific issues other than the waiting area point (which is a valuable observation)?

We are keen to increase the representation of males in the consultation response and will contact these groups, if we have not done so already to make them aware of the consultation. Thanks for this really helpful suggestion.  The only concern raised specifically by males so far, via the pre-consultation engagement, was a query around the option to wait in a different area, this will be addressed within plans.

Engagement Document – Breast Service Proposals explained (with Questionnaire)