Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, U.K., has permanently shut down its breast imaging facility, according to a recent article in the Manchester Evening News.
The closure follows several months of unreliable imaging services at the hospital, including a temporary suspension of breast cancer imaging in May. Health chiefs cited a shortage of radiologists and other specialized staff that led to significant delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, the article noted.
"We want our patients to receive high-quality, safe, and timely diagnosis and treatment, but like many other similar services across the country, our breast services have been fragile for a considerable period of time," a spokesperson for the Stockport National Health Service (NHS) Trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital, told the Manchester Evening News.
Breast referral screening, along with testing, surgery, and post-treatment care for local residents, will now take place at neighboring NHS trusts in Wythenshawe, Macclesfield, and Tameside. The closure appears to highlight the growing centralization of breast imaging services in the U.K.