Public Health Agency statement on breast screening programme
The Public Health Agency (PHA) is aware of issues identified with the breast screening programme in England.
We have taken this opportunity to review the systems and processes, through which women are invited for screening in Northern Ireland, to ensure that they are in line with our policy here. No issues have been identified.
The Northern Ireland breast screening programme has been running since 1989. It provides breast screening every three years for all eligible women in Northern Ireland aged 50 and over. This is an important public health programme, with robust quality assurance arrangements in place, which are continually monitored by the PHA.
Since 2009, in Northern Ireland women become eligible to be invited for breast screening every three years from the calendar year they turn 50 to the calendar year they turn 70. Before 2009 the age range covered was 50 to 64.
Although women do not automatically get screening invitations after they are 70, they are encouraged to continue to attend every three years and can contact their local breast screening unit to make an appointment.
We encourage women who have been invited for screening to see it as an important step in helping to look after their health, and to therefore continue to attend for screening if invited.
As usual, all women should continue to be aware of any changes to their breasts and if they have any concerns then they should see their GP.
Women who would like to enquire about breast screening can contact their local breast screening unit:
Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas: (028) 9033 3700
Southern Trust area: (028) 3839 7020
Northern Trust area: (028) 9442 4425
Western Trust area: (028) 7161 1443
For further information see: