Increased screening capacity by an extended working day on the mobile screening unit
© BioMed Central 2006
Published: 10 July 2006
Somerset Breast Screening serves a mainly rural population, with a mobile unit visiting 22 sites throughout the county on a 3-yearly screening cycle.
The age extension of the screening programme necessitated an approximately 35% increase in the screening workload.
It was not possible to justify the expense of a second mobile unit as this would only be required 1–2 days per week. Finding additional sites for mobile units in small rural villages has become an increasing problem. For these reasons it was decided to increase our capacity on the existing mobile unit by using a shift system and extending the working day. Initial staff consultation showed a willingness to explore this new way of working.
A full screening day now extends from 8 am until 8 pm and utilises four radiographers/assistant practitioner radiographers.
As a result of the extended day, Somerset Breast Screening has fully implemented the age extension and is achieving a 36-month screening round without the capital expenditure of a second mobile unit. Surveys show a high level of popularity with our clients, especially for early evening appointments, and high acceptance levels from our radiographers and assistant practitioners.