NHS: Scottish women not invited to final breast screening

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The National Health Service (NHS) Scotland is contacting nearly 1,800 women following revelations that they did not receive invitations to their final round of breast screening.

Scottish women between the ages of 50 and 70 are routinely contacted for screening, but delays in the program meant 1,761 women were not invited for their final screen by the time they turned 71, according to a report from the BBC.

NHS Scotland said it would write to the women to arrange screenings "as soon as possible." Some women have waited a few months, while others have waited for three years.

Routine breast screens will continue as normal, with NHS screening centers making arrangements for the women to be seen as quickly as possible. The NHS is adding staff to help with the process.

Health Secretary Jeane Freemen apologized for the error and said, "I have been clear that we must learn from this and act to minimize the risk of similar incidents in future," according to the BBC article.

The Scottish Breast Screening Programme discovered the missed appointments during a review prompted by the blunder in England where up to 75 women may have died due to not being screened.

"This will undoubtedly create a great deal of concern and anxiety for the women affected," said Janice Preston, head of services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, in the BBC article. "The absolute priority must be for women who have missed their final screening appointment to immediately get support and if appropriate treatment."

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