Routine breast screening
Breast screening service during COVID-19
Updated 11 November 2020
All breast imaging services will be continuing as normal with COVID-19 precautions in place.
Invitations to breast screening appointments will continue to be sent to people between 50 and 70 years old who are registered as female with their GP.
As of 11 November 2020, we are now able to resume accepting self-referrals for those aged over 71 to screening clinics. This action is aligned with national guidance provided by Public Health England. Appointments will be available at the Princess Anne Hospital only.
Please be assured that further updates will be published as necessary. In the meantime, if you have any changes in your breast or symptoms that are causing you concern, please contact your GP.
Routine breast screening
The NHS breast screening programme provides free breast screening for all women in the UK aged 50 and over. Around one-and-a-half million women are screened in the UK each year. All women aged 50 to 70 automatically receive an invitation to routine screening (an x-ray examination) every three years.
The Southampton and Salisbury breast screening unit invites women registered with a GP practice. We rotate through the practices in our catchment area on a three-yearly cycle. Ordinarily this means that your first invitation for breast screening will fall between your 49th and 53rd birthday, at a time when your practice is being screened.
However, from March 2013 the unit age extended the service to all women who fall within the new screening age groups of 47 to 49 and 71 to 73. This is a national reform and will be phased in so the benefit of extending the age range for breast screening is able to be scientifically evaluated.
As a result of phasing in only one of the new screening age groups (either age group 47 to 49 or age group 71 to 73) will be invited along with all eligible 50 to 70 year olds for screening from your GP practice. We do not know which age group will be invited until we generate the screening invitations on our computer system. Please see the extending the screening age range leaflet for further information.
You can also download the dates and locations of the next round of screening for GP practices in the Southampton and Salisbury breast screening catchment area.
Once women reach the upper age range, they are encouraged to continue routine three-yearly screening. Women over the age of 70 may contact the unit to refer themselves for an appointment.
Mobile screening appointments
You will be sent an invitation to be screened at one of our mobile units. The information will include a date and time for your appointment and directions to the unit in your area. If you cannot attend or wish to change your appointment please phone and let us know.
As we are not always able to offer the same site for subsequent screening invitations, please check the appointment details in your letter carefully.
If you have a disability and receive an invitation for mobile screening, please contact us, as you will need to come to the Princess Anne Hospital instead.
Further information and information in other languages
The leaflets below will give you more information about breast screening