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Breast screening and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Breast screening has restarted. We will send you a letter when it is time for you to book your appointment.

You can still travel to screening appointments in another county under current COVID-19 restrictions.

Your screening appointment is essential for your health, please attend on the day and time you are given.

Safety precautions are in place throughout our health services to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Please attend for screening when you receive your invitation.

If you would like to contact us, Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

Who we will screen first

We are restarting with people who have waited longest for breast screening. Invitation letters will be sent first to those who had their appointments cancelled in March.

After this, we will start to send invitations for routine screening.

New physical distancing and infection control measures mean that we will not be able to screen as many women per day. Please bear with us and wait for your appointment letter asking you to rebook your screening test.

If you are aged 50 to 52 and coming for your test for the first time, please check the register here to make sure we have all the details we need to invite you to arrange your test.

Going for your screening

Although your breast screening test will be the same, it may seem a little different when you go to your clinic or mobile unit for your next screening appointment.

Our clinics and mobile units have been working hard to make changes to keep you safe when you go for your appointment.

These changes may include:

  • receiving a text from BreastCheck staff before your appointment to reduce time spent in the clinic or mobile unit
  • your radiographer or doctor wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • wearing a mask during your appointment
  • waiting outside until it’s time for your appointment
  • fewer people in your healthcare building or mobile unit
  • waiting a little longer for your appointment as the unit must be completely disinfected between each screening test
  • coming into the unit or clinic without a family member with you
  • entering and exiting your clinic through different doors.

Because of this, we are advising you to:

  • make sure you have enough time for parking if driving yourself
  • plan for your test to take a little longer
  • check your transport options for your return home
  • bring warm clothes and a rain jacket if not coming by car
  • bring your own pen to sign any forms required
  • keep in touch with your clinic ahead of your visit and follow their advice
  • be aware that toilet facilities may not be open in some screening locations.

It is taking us longer to screen due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is important that you come for your appointment when called. You will receive one BreastCheck appointment letter during this screening round. If you are unable to attend your appointment, please contact us to reschedule your appointment. You will not receive a reminder letter.

How you can help us

You may receive a text message a few days before your appointment. Please read and follow the instructions within the text to help with planning your appointment.

Appointment times are strict to allow for adherence to social distancing during your visit.

You may be waiting a little longer for your appointment. Our staff will adhere to strict cleaning between each screening appointment.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please contact us to reschedule your appointment.

These measures are in place to keep you safe when attending your breast screening appointment.

Follow up treatment

For people whose screening test result is not normal, they will be called for further assessment.

It may seem a little different when you go to your clinic for your next appointment.

Clinics have been working hard to make changes to keep you safe when you go for your appointment.

These changes may include:

  • Your nurse or doctor wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • waiting outside until it’s time for your appointment
  • fewer people in your healthcare building
  • waiting a little longer for your appointment while the treatment rooms are disinfected.

Your clinic will be in touch with you ahead of your appointment to let you know what to expect when coming to the clinic.

You can contact BreastCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55. Ask to speak with one of our lead nurses.

If you are unwell or isolating

We ask that you do not attend your appointment if you are unwell or self-isolating because you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Do not attend either if you or are a confirmed close contact of someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

Please follow the most recent guidelines on self-isolating after travel abroad when considering if you are able to attend your appointment.

If you have symptoms - phone your GP

Contact your GP without delay if you have any symptoms of breast cancer. Never ignore symptoms.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • a lump in either breast
  • discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Coronavirus symptoms

If you have a new continuous cough and a high temperature, please follow the self-isolation guidance.

Symptoms of coronavirus

page last reviewed: 30/03/2020
next review due: 30/03/2023