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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

Investigation and analysis of the benign surgical biopsy rate in the prevalent screening round (2001–2002)


Quality assurance is a fundamental part of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme. National quality standards are in place for all stages of screening and for all professionals involved. The performance of individual units is monitored to ensure all women have access to an excellent service.


This project aims to demonstrate how the Liverpool Breast Unit addressed failure to meet the national quality standard for the benign biopsy rate in the prevalent screening round. Failure to meet this standard was of concern because benign biopsies are associated with high healthcare costs and patient anxiety.


A retrospective review of the records of patients who had undergone benign biopsy (2001–2002) was conducted to establish reasons for surgical referral and suggest corrective measures to enable the unit to meet the standard in the future.


The review concluded that that the benign biopsy rate achieved (Fig. 1) did not reflect the performance of the unit and recommended an action plan to improve the standard. This plan was implemented, and as a result the standard has improved in subsequent years.


Figure 1

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  • Screen Programme
  • Corrective Measure
  • Individual Unit
  • Patient Anxiety
  • Fundamental Part