A community campaign has brought the much-needed breast screening programme back to Midhurst.
Now Dr Rowena Hill, from the Riverbank Medical Centre, who led the campaign, is urging women between 50 and 70 to take up their chance to have the three yearly screening.
Midhurst lost its mobile screening service in 2014 through the redevelopment of the Grange Leisure Centre, which meant women had to travel to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
“As a result there was a significant fall in the uptake of mammogram screening for the Midhurst area which was well below the national average,” said Dr Hill.
She was concerned about the figures as just under a quarter of all Riverbank’s patients are women aged between 50 and 70: “About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime,” said Dr Hill, “and there’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected in its early stages.
“This year I have been pro-actively looking with Lorna Mycliffe, the West Sussex breast screening manager, for sites in the Midhurst area to site the bus.
“We needed a safe, easily accessible and central site as the Grange was unfortunately unable to accommodate the bus.”
Then manager at Budgens, Chris Thorne, stepped up with the offer of siting the bus in the supermarket car park: “He has been incredibly helpful and accommodating and we are thrilled the bus is going to be sited here for the next three months,” said Dr Hill.
The Friends of Midhurst Community Hospital and Riverbank Medical Centre are now funding the £4,000 cost of the electrical supply.
“This has been a huge community effort with a huge amount of work by Lorna Mycliffe.”
Women aged 50 to 70 registered at the practice will automatically get an invite. Those over 70 are eligible but they have to ask for a mammogram by calling the West Sussex Breast Screening Centre (01903 239757).
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