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Breast cancer screening in Fleetwood

Volume 710: debated on Monday 7 March 2022

The petition of the residents of the constituency of Lancaster and Fleetwood in Lancashire,

Declares that the mobile breast cancer screening unit in Fleetwood should be reinstated because access to breast screening is life-saving and the loss of the mobile screening van in Fleetwood makes accessing this service more difficult, more expensive and more time consuming for residents. The petitioners therefore request the House of Commons to urge the Department of Health and Social Care to work with the local health providers to enable fairer access to the service for all women.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Cat Smith, Official Report, 17 January 2022; Vol. 707, c. 168.]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Maria Caulfield):

The Government are aware that the rotations of mobile breast screening units (MBSUs) in the Fleetwood area have ceased due to the change in appointment system to the NHS breast screening programme. This has been introduced as part of the recovery of screening services following the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government believe that NHS breast screening programme providers, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement regional offices, are best placed to make decisions on commissioning services for their communities. As services recover and MBSU rotations begin to normalise, the providers will aim to resume the MBSUs on a more regular basis in Fleetwood.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are aware of the situation in Fleetwood and are working with local providers to ensure that individuals who are unable to attend screening due to distance and cost are supported. Providers are also considering whether a shuttle bus for areas such as Fleetwood would help improve access and uptake, and are reviewing planning data to determine whether an MBSU can be located in Fleetwood for a period of time in the near future.