Kettering implements safety measures to resume breast screening service with new mobile unit

Like many screening services around the country, Kettering General Hospital complied with government lockdown advice during the COVID-19 pandemic and made the decision to pause its National Health Service Breast Screening Programme for the health and safety of clients and colleagues.

When lockdown restrictions began to ease, the team at Kettering immediately started to consider what changes would be needed to safely restore the service. Their aim was to get the service up and running as soon as possible to minimise the potential adverse effect of delayed diagnosis for their screening population.

“Our executive team and other key stakeholders were very supportive of our plan to restart the programme,” explained superintendent radiographer Katalin Woodland and breast screening programme manager Deborah Black. “The other thing that was a key element in the delivery of our recovery programme was our new Fujifilm mobile screening unit. The flexibility this offers has helped enable us to be one of the first units nationally to restart the NHS Breast Screening Programme.”

The team performed infection control risk assessments to understand what would make the service and the mobile unit as safe as possible. A local upholsterer re-covered the seats with washable vinyl, carpets were removed and replaced with vinyl flooring and a one-way system was introduced to limit contact between clients and staff. The team also reviewed appointment times, increasing them to 20 minutes instead of the usual seven minutes, to allow for PPE changes and cleaning after each client.

“The new breast screening unit is our first piece of Fujifilm mammography equipment. Feedback from clients and staff about both the Amulet Innovality mammography system and the mobile unit itself has been very positive,” said Woodland. “We are delighted to have restored the service so quickly, and to have found practical and efficient solutions to the challenges of COVID-19 breast screening procedures.”

Picture: Advanced practitioner in radiology Deborah Mapley, superintendent radiographer Katalin Woodland and breast screening programme manager Deborah Black.

Published on page 22 of the August 2020 issue of RAD Magazine.

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