New digital unit for screening

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WEST Suffolk Hospital has completed a £1.2 million project to replace breast imaging equipment.

The hospital has replaced its two mammography machines with three digital machines to detect early signs of breast cancer.

It has also taken delivery of a new digital mobile breast screening unit to provide services in the community.

The work was carried out over a four month period to ensure breast screening continued at the hospital.

The new equipment will provide high quality images within seconds and reduce the number of call backs if there are technical problems with images.

Previously, staff in the mobile unit had to return films to the hospital for processing and could not check the quality of the image while the patient was still at the unit.

The Government is rolling out an extended programme of breast screening for women who will be invited for a mammography within three years of their 47th birthday. The upper age limit will also be extended to 73.

Ann Hills, superintendent radiographer at the hospital’s breast imaging department, said of the upgrade: “It represents a significant investment which will help us to provide an even better service to our patients.

“The state of the art technology will allow us to produce high quality images quickly and efficiently. As part of the project we’ve also been able to make use of our old processing room, which we no longer need, to gain a third mammography room. This will help us cater for more women as part of the Government extension to the screening age.”