Following his successful campaign, local MP Robert Largan has welcomed the return of mobile breast screening services to Chapel-en-le-Frith this month.
The breast screening service, which already returned to Buxton in July, will be back in Chapel-en-le-Frith on 20 September 2021 and New Mills in October. This schedule is open to change due to staff availability and uptake from women.
The mobile screening unit was withdrawn in 2020, with Covid cited as the reason, meaning local women were asked to travel to Bakewell or Chesterfield instead. The extra distance meant that many women would be unable to make their appointment which could mean cancer going undiagnosed.
The High Peak MP launched a petition calling for the mobile screening unit to be reinstated, which over 2,000 local people signed. He also led a debate in Parliament to make a case for reinstatement directly to the Health Minister and secured a public commitment that breast screening services would be brought back to the High Peak by July. A commitment that was met when the unit returned to Buxton that month.
To catch up with the backlog, North Derbyshire Breast Screening services are keeping four mobile vans in service instead of the usual two. Staff are working on their days off and weekend clinics. Changes to working practice will increase the number of appointments each day. They are actively recruiting mammographers and have already recruited two trainee mammographers.
Women will be contacted and invited for appointments directly.
Robert Largan, MP for the High Peak, commented:
“I am delighted that breast cancer screening clinics are coming back to Chapel-en-le-Frith this month and New Mills next month. Given the importance of early diagnosis for breast cancer survival rates, this reinstatement will undoubtedly save lives.
“A huge thanks to our local NHS staff for working so hard to bring this service back and catch up on the backlog.
“Thanks again to everyone who signed my petition and supported my campaign. This shows what we can achieve when we work together.”