Wishart highlights plans to restart self-referral to breast screening for over 70s

Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart has today highlighted plans to restart self-referral to the breast screening programme for those aged 71 and over.

The Scottish Breast Screening Programme invites women aged between 50 and 70 years old for screening every three years. The decision to focus on this age group reflects the risk factors associated with breast cancer.

Self-referrals to the programme by over 70s were paused due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to a written parliamentary question from Ms Wishart, the Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport Maree Todd stated that the restart of self-referrals for those aged 71 and over are on-track to recommence by Autumn 2022.

Separately, the Mobile Breast Screening Unit (MBSU) and Service run by NHS Grampian is in Shetland until October 13th 2022. Eligible women across Shetland will be offered appointments and any women due to have a surveillance scan between May and October 2022 will also be offered a local MRI appointment, instead of having to travel to Aberdeen.

Responding to the Minister’s answer, Ms Wishart said:

“I welcome the news that plans are on-track to restart self-referral for breast screening for the over 70s and I look forward to hearing the Minster’s update to Parliament with further details in the coming weeks.

“The option to self-refer to the breast screening programme will provide reassurance for over 70s who wish to continue being screened through the programme.

“It is important to stress that anyone who is concerned about changes to their breasts should speak to their GP, no matter their age.”


Information on the breast screening programme from Public Health Scotland can be found here: Breast screening - Screening - Health topics - Public Health Scotland

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