No ‘current’ plans to move breast screening out of Southern Trust area

Craigavon Hospital - Picture Gavan Caldwell'see story Philip Bradfield
Craigavon Hospital - Picture Gavan Caldwell'see story Philip Bradfield

Following fears breast screening services could be moved to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, the Southern Trust says there are no plans ‘currently’ to change the service.

MP for Newry and Armagh Mickey Brady said he had serious concerns about a recommendation for the service to be moved to the Ulster Hospital.

The Sinn Fein MP said he had contacted the CEO of the Southern Trust Shane Devlin to raise these concerns and to seek clarifcation on issues linked to the proposal.

The MP explained: “There is a recommendation for the Breast screening facility currently for the Southern Trust to be moved to The Ulster Hospital with a view to establish a single site to serve the greater Belfast area, with consolidation of three service locations onto a single site there.”

Mr Brady added: “The main concern here is that there has been no consultation with staff and that that no representative from the Southern Trust has been interviewed as part of the review.

“I have written to Shane Devlin CEO of the Southern Trust raising concerns, firstly making him aware that this has been brought to my attention and also to ask him for some information regarding this proposal?

“Logistically this would not be practical as people in the Southern Trust area would have to travel to Dundonald. Another concern is that as one facility would now be servicing three service locations, waiting lists would obviously increase.”

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “The Breast Screening Service is part of the National Breast Screening Programme and provides a free breast screening service for eligible well women throughout area.

“In the Southern Trust screening is provided via our specialist digital mobile units. They rotate between, Lurgan Hospital, Dromalane Newry, Armagh Community Hospital, Banbridge Health Centre and South Tyrone Hospitals.

“There are currently no plans to change the Breast Screening Service in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.”