Hospital upgrade to benefit breast patients

PATIENTS at West Suffolk Hospital are reaping the rewards following completion of a £1.2 million project.

The hospital in Bury St Edmunds, recently replaced it’s two on-site mammography machines - breast imagining equipment - with state-of-the-art machinery and created a third digital imaging room to help increase capacity.

It has also taken delivery of a new digital mobile breast screening unit to provide an imaging service within the community.

The upgrade project was phased over four months to ensure that patients could continue to access screening at the hospital.

The new system will increase efficiency by providing staff with high quality images within seconds.

Ann Hills, superintendent radiographer in the breast imaging department, said: “This represents a significant investment which will help us to provide an even better service to our patients.

“As part of the project, we’ve also been able to make use of our old processing room, which we no longer need, to gain a third mammography room, and this will help us cater for more women as part of the government extension to the screening age.”

At the moment, women are offered breast screening within three years of their 50th birthday and at three-year intervals until the age of 70.

West Suffolk is about to begin extending this range so that women will be invited within three years of their 47th birthday, with the upper age limit eventually moving to 73.