As 31% of breast cancer cases are detected through the national breast cancer screening programme, RM Partners is committed to increasing participation in west London.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the national breast cancer screening programme changed from offering timed appointments to open invitations. Previously women received an appointment with their invitation letter. However, they now need to ring the breast screening hub or log onto a booking system to make an appointment.

This change was implemented to allow time to undertake new infection control protocols and ensure that the reduced capacity was maximally used.

Studies have shown that certain groups of women, for instance those who have little spare time, poor health literacy, or for whom English is not their first language, are less likely to make an appointment. This switch to open invitations creates a risk of increased health inequalities.

RM Partners has commissioned a multilingual call reminder service to contact women who have not responded to their invitation. This service will explain the screening process, answer any questions where appropriate, and book an appointment for the patient.

Please contact Claire Barry, claire.barry@nhs.net, for information about the project.

For information about breast screening www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-screening/