Proposal to consolidate Warrington Breast Screening Services at Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre
The consultation period has now ended. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. We are reviewing the feedback and will publish the consultation outcomes in full in due course.
The Breast Screening Service
Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHSFT (WHHNHS) is the lead provider for the Warrington, Halton, St. Helens and Knowsley Breast Screening and Assessment Service (WHSKBSS).
WHSKBSS provides routine breast screening, diagnostic and onward referral services to a population of approximately 92,000 from across the four boroughs and women called for screening are able to select any one of the services offered across the four boroughs for their screening appointment.
Routine Breast Screening is offered every three years to all women aged 50 - 70 (up to their 71st birthday)). Women over the age of 70 able to self-refer for screening if they choose to do so.
For clarity, Breast Screening refers to the three-yearly mammograms offered as part of the national programme to identify and treat breast cancers earlier.
Where is screening currently offered?
In 2019/20 the service invited over 28,000 people for screening and performed a mammogram on around 22,000. The WHSKBSS service is currently provided from the following locations, and women may choose any of these locations to have their mammograms:
- Warrington: Kendrick Wing, Warrington Hospital and Bath St. Health & Wellbeing Centre
- Halton Hospital – Breast Centre, Captain Sir Tom Moore Building
- St Helens Hospital - Burney Breast Clinic
- Mobile Breast Screening Unit which rotates around areas for patients registered with GP practices in the service area
Screening is offered to all women aged 50 - 70 (up to their 71st birthday) and the location of screening is organised according to where you live or by your GP practice, although women may choose any of these locations.
What are we proposing?
We have already completed a major reconfiguration of breast services across Warrington, Halton, St Helen’s and Knowsley, this saw the breast screening assessment and the symptomatic clinics relocate to the new Breast Centre at Halton Hospital and the breast screening service relocate from the Delamere Centre across the Halton site to the Breast Centre.
This proposal is the final part of this reconfiguration and seeks to consolidate breast screening services in Warrington to a single site at Bath St. Health and Wellbeing Centre Warrington. This would mean that screening would no longer be offered at Kendrick Wing at the hospital.
This service change requires that we consult service users and wider staff and public and a consultation was held between 6th May and 20th June 2022.
About Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre
Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre is located on Legh Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1UG.
(courtesy Google Maps)
• A bright, modern environment for patients, located less than one mile from the hospital
• Free parking for up to 90 minutes for patients with appointments
• A town centre location with excellent access to public transport links – including Warrington bus interchange and Warrington Central and Bank Quay train stations
• Easier access for those with mobility needs or disabilities
• A short walk to the Breast Screening Clinic from the car park at Bath st.
Why are we proposing this consolidation (bringing together) of services?
During the first phase of reconfiguration of breast screening services for the four boroughs, and in the associated formal public consultation (which closed in June 2021), numerous issues were identified relating to the service at Kendrick Wing. These were:
• Aged, inaccessible estate offering a poor patient experience
• Lack of available space elsewhere on the hospital site to relocate the service
• Constantly unreliable elevator access to the first-floor screening centre
• Parking issues relating to the highly congested hospital site
In addition, there are challenges relating to the operation of a two-centre service in Warrington including:
• The current multi-site nature of the screening service and split-site nature of the assessment service creates inefficiencies in use of estate, equipment and workforce
• The workforce challenges are significant with a local and national shortage of Breast Radiologists and Mammographers making recruitment into crucial posts challenging.
Improving the experience of service users – and staff
There are real opportunities to create a significantly enhanced patient experience and improve access, as well as creating a more efficient service which would support the long-term sustainability of the service through consolidation in a modern, superior location.
Bath St Health and Wellbeing Centre is circa 1mile from the existing Kendrick Wing site and has easily accessible, plentiful car parking spaces and parking is free for 90 minutes for those with an appointment (£2.50 at Warrington Hospital). It is closer to the public transport interchange in Warrington town centre thank Kendrick Wing.
There is a local and national shortage of Mammographers making recruitment into crucial posts challenging. Current staff will relocate with their service, there is no intention to decrease staffing levels and no member of staff will be disadvantaged by this relocation. The breast screening administration service will not relocate.
The vacated service space at Warrington Hospital will be refurbished for use by the WHSKBSS administration team and any additional space reallocated for other non-clinical services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are you asking people to consider as part of this consultation?
We are asking people to provide their views on a proposal to consolidate breast screening services onto a single site.
This would see all breast screening appointments in Warrington provided in an expanded and improved facility at Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre. Breast Screening appointments would no longer be offered at Kendrick Wing, Warrington Hospital.
Breast Screening services at St Helens, Halton and Knowsley are not affected.
The Mobile Screening Unit service is unchanged by these proposals.
Will this stop services being delivered in other locations as part of the service?
The proposal will see breast screening appointments stop at Kendrick Wing, Warrington and instead will be offered at Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre as well as the choice to have screening at Halton, St Helen’s and Knowsley.
Will this mean a reduction in the number of screening appointments available?
No, in fact bringing the two screening services together will enable us to expand and develop the service to offer more screening appointments.
Will the frequency of services and clinics be reduced?
No. The frequency of services and clinics will not be impacted by these changes. It is just a change of location.
Will people still be able to access the mobile Breast Screening units?
Yes. The mobile screening service remains unchanged by these proposals. Women will still be able to choose any of the WHSKBSS screening locations to attend for their screening appointment.
How far will services be moving?
Bath Street is located approximately 0.9miles from Warrington hospital.
Will different staff be providing these services?
No. The provision of services will continue to be carried out by the existing team. Staff currently based at Kendrick Wing will relocate with their service and already support the service delivered at Bath Street Health.
Will this affect staffing levels?
No staff are at risk from this proposal and, as staff already provide screening services at Bath Street, they will not be disadvantaged by this relocation proposal. In fact, we believe that this proposal will provide an improved working environment for all mammographers and has the potential to aid recruitment and retention of staff.
Why can’t screening services remain at Kendrick Wing?
The number of patients screened each year by the service has doubled during the last 20 years, however, there is no obvious room for expansion on the first floor of Warrington Hospital’s Kendrick Wing.
The building is old and has deteriorated over the years. The first-floor accommodation can only be accessed by a steep staircase and a small lift with frequent service issues. In short, it cannot offer the standard of service we are aspiring to and which is offered at other locations including the new Breast Care Centre in Halton.
Bath Street does have room for expansion of the service and as a much more modern building offers a more accessible and better standard of accommodation for the service and an improved environment for patients and staff.
Will it be more costly to deliver services from Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre?
A key consideration of all service change proposals must be to provide the best possible experience for patients whilst ensuring value for money for the NHS and patients / users of all services involved. Delivering all Warrington screening appointments at Bath Street will maximise our use of this modern health facility and combine mammographers on one site which will help service continuity.
The FAQ response talks of value for money and improved facilities, but doesn't actually state a response - is the move an increased cost? If so, how will those costs be recouped/offset?
The refurbishment cost is being met by the owners of the Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre building. The only additional cost for Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals and the NHS is the rental for the increased space, which is minimal and has been agreed jointly with our commissioners. The cost of the service provision will remain the same as we are moving an existing service into Bath Street. One of the benefits of this proposal is that we would be able to see more patients with the same staffing costs, which should more than offset the financial contribution that WHH will be required to make to Bath Street.
Although male breast screening is not as prevalent, 1% of responses were from males - what engagement has been done with men in the areas affected, to ensure their views are represented in this consultation?
We have actively sought views from all patients, which would include men attending the service. In addition to the information shared on social media, on our website and via the media, we have also sought engagement with interest groups aimed at men in the local area including Dads Matter, Warrington Wolves Foundation and other groups to ensure representation from males. We have also shared with our staff members.
Although staff will not be lost as a result of the consolidation, will staff be able to maintain consistency of support with their existing patients, by continuing to work with them after the move?
Our staff already rotate between Bath Street and the Kendrick at Warrington Hospital, so patients will continue to be able to maintain relationships with those patients they already treat.
How will this move improve waiting times?
By having the same staff as we have now in a single location, we will reduce travel times for staff between locations. As all of the multi-disciplinary team will be located in the same place, staff will be able to work more efficiently which means more patients can be seen with the same number of staff in the service and therefore help to reduce waiting times.
How can I get involved in this consultation?
This consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read about our proposals and give their views during the consultation period between 6th May 2022 and 20th June 2022. We are currently reviewing your feedback and will publish the outcomes of the consultation in full, in due course.
Outcome of previous consultation on Breast Services
These documents provide the outcomes of our previous consultation on Breast Services - carried out between 28th May 2021 and 8th July 2021.