Merry Hill carpark to provie alternative location for vital breast screening service

A cross-sector collaboration with Breast Cancer Now, NHS England and Asda, will provide new locations for mobile breast screening units to be used by the NHS Breast Screening programme run by NHS England.

Asda has made their car parks, in specific regions, available, in a bid to increase convenience and visibility of vital breast screening services in England.

The announcement was made as part of an Asda Parliamentary event, hosted by Matt Vickers MP, which focussed on supporting community organisations, utilising store space and fundraising for national charities.

This initiative launches in Asda’s 27th year of supporting breast cancer charities through its Tickled Pink Partnership. Central to this, is a commitment to support early diagnosis of the disease by helping normalise breast awareness, encouraging a million more people in the UK to check their chests more regularly and raising funds for Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel!

Asda is currently hosting three mobile breast screening vans in England, as well as one in Scotland, and looks forward to working with regional commissioning teams across England to identify further locations where mobile breast screening vans can make a difference.

This will be based on an assessment by local Breast Screening Services, and should the offer be right for specific communities, work in lockstep with the routine invitation cycle.

This positive initiative will also help contribute towards wider efforts to increase visibility and awareness of the importance of breast screening and encourage more women to take up their breast screening invite. Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now said:

“We’re delighted that NHS England and our long-term partner, Asda, are working together to improve the convenience of vital breast screening, with ASDA offering many of their car parks as locations for breast screening vans in England.

“Breast screening is a key tool for detecting breast cancer early, as critically, the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be successful.

“As such, we welcome this important initiative which will help improve people’s awareness of breast screening and could provide this vital service in new areas of the community.”

Jeanette Lane, who works on the kiosk at Asda Dagenham, knows all too well how important it is to attend routine breast screening. Following her mammogram in March 2018, the results found invasive breast cancer in one breast and non-invasive breast cancer in the other breast.

Following numerous biopsies, it was confirmed Jeanette had invasive lobular breast cancer. Jeanette then had biopsies on her lymph nodes in July, and in August 2018, Jeanette had a double mastectomy with immediate first stages of reconstruction, followed by radiotherapy.

She then went on to have full reconstruction surgery in 2019. Jeanette said:

"The one thing I would say to everyone is to keep checking yourself regularly, and don’t miss any routine mammograms.

“If I hadn’t attended my mammogram appointment, I would never have known about my breast cancer.”

Following years of declining breast screening attendance in England, this availability of alternative mobile screening unit locations comes as Breast Cancer Now’s #NoTimeToWaste campaign calls on the government to urgently invest in the NHS Breast Screening Programme, to guarantee its accessibility to all eligible women, and ensure it has enough staff and resources to offer the care women deserve, now and in decades to come.


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