Scottish breast screening program to undergo review

The Scottish Breast Screening Programme will undergo a comprehensive review that will take about a year, according to an announcement from the Scottish government.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick made the announcement to the Scottish Parliament on 30 July. The review will be conducted by the National Services Division (NSD), which is part of the National Health Service (NHS) National Services Scotland. NSD will report its findings to the Scottish Screening Committee.

In addition to assessing the current program, the review will investigate advances in technology as well as ways to increase participation and address health inequalities, the government said.

"The number of women eligible for screening is growing -- some 800,000 women were eligible over the 2018-2021 period -- and the program needs to be able to keep pace with the increasing population and changes in technology and lifestyles," FitzPatrick told Parliament, according to the government announcement.

"I also know the program can be complex to administer with mobile screening units working around the country," he continued. "We need to look at ways to free up workforce pressure and develop solutions to encourage participation and tackle health inequalities. This is why we have approved a review which will look at everything from invitation processes, technology, and future requirements which will ensure that breast screening continues to support early diagnosis of breast cancer."

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