Axed service brought back by trust bosses

The former site of the mobile breast cancer screening service in the car park of Cleckheaton Health Centre, Greenside.
The former site of the mobile breast cancer screening service in the car park of Cleckheaton Health Centre, Greenside.

A vital service that checks for signs of cancer in women has been brought back, weeks after it was axed by health chiefs.

The mobile breast screening service in Cleckheaton Health Centre car park was cut in January after NHS bosses said the building’s electric supply could no longer power its new equipment.

Now Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, which has run the service for more than 15 years, has moved it to Liversedge.

It will run from the Eddercliffe Centre car park in Bradford Road.

Principal superintendent radiographer Leah Richardson said: “The mobile screening unit plays an important role in early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and it’s important the service is as accessible as possible for the women we screen.

“I am very grateful to the Eddercliffe Centre for offering the unit a new home to provide a local service to the women of Cleckheaton and I hope they will take advantage of their breast screening invitations.”

People had to travel to Dewsbury and District Hospital or St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford to get tested when the service was axed.

The service screens women between 50 and 70 for breast cancer every three years.

It serves around 7,000 women across the district and uses mammography tests to take special X-ray pictures of breasts to check for signs of the disease.

Concerns have been raised about the accessibility of the service’s new location in Liversedge.

Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said that while restoring the service was good, its new location should have been in the centre of Cleckheaton.

She said: “I was contacted by people about the service when it was lost.

“For some women, not having screening regularly puts their health at risk so it’s really important we have something accessible.

“I’m pleased the trust has found somewhere closer but, although it’s an improvement, they have to bear in mind what it means in terms of transport.

“It’s a lot better than getting people to go to Dewsbury or Bradford but it ought to be somewhere central in Spen.

“They needed to sort out somewhere in the middle of Cleckheaton because it’s accessible, I don’t see why it can’t be done.”

The trust said the reasons the site was chosen were because it was on a main bus route and that it had free parking facilities.

It also said the building’s electrical supply was able to power its new state-of-the-art digital equipment.

Women over 70 will not automatically be invited but can arrange an appointment by calling the screening office on 01274-365521.

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