Like many screening services around the country, Kettering General Hospital complied with government lockdown advice during the Covid-19 pandemic and made the decision to pause their National Health Service Breast Screening Programme for the health and safety of both clients and colleagues.
When the lockdown restrictions began to ease, the team at Kettering immediately started to consider what changes would be needed to safely restore the service. Their aim was to get the service back up and running as soon as possible, in order to minimise the potential adverse effect of delayed diagnosis for their screening population.
“Our Executive Team and other key stakeholders were very supportive of our plan to restart the programme“ said Katalin Woodland, Superintendent Radiographer and Deborah Black, Breast Screening Programme Manager. “The other thing which was a key element in the delivery of our recovery programme was our new Fujifilm Mobile Screening Unit.
The flexibility this offers has helped enable us to be one of the first units nationally to restart the Breast Screening Programme.“
Deborah and Katalin’s team performed infection control risk assessments to understand what would make the service and the mobile unit as safe as possible. A local upholsterer re-covered the seats with washable vinyl, the carpets were removed and replaced with vinyl flooring, and a one way system was introduced to limit contact between clients and staff.
The team also reviewed appointment times, increasing them to 20 minutes instead the usual 7 minutes, to allow for PPE changes and cleaning after each client.
“The new breast screening unit is our first piece of Fujifilm mammography equipment. Feedback from clients and staff about both the AMUELT Innovality mammography system and the mobile unit itself has been very positive“ said Katalin. “We are delighted to have restored the service so quickly, and to have found practical and efficient solutions to the challenges of post-Covid-19 breast screening procedures.”
Photo credits L to R:
Deborah Mapley – Advanced Practitioner in Radiology
Katalin Woodland – Superintendent Radiographer
Deborah Black – Breast Screening Programme Manager For further