A NEW mobile breast screening unit can now offer women easier access to lifesaving diagnostic checks.

The new equipment has been given to East Cheshire NHS Trust after the government pledged an extra £10 million to provide 29 new NHS mobile breast cancer screening units to areas where they are most needed.

The new purpose-built unit has been designed with lift access to provide accessibility to patients with walking difficulties.

READ > Police clock drivers speeding through Knutsford on Manchester Road

There will also be specific clinics available for wheelchair users which will allow additional time.

The van will provide around 50 breast screening appointments daily, improving outcomes for patients, tackling health disparities and improving diagnosis rates.

This investment will also help deliver a more accessible NHS where patients can receive care closer to home.

John Dillon, head of diagnostics at East Cheshire NHS Trust said, “The Cheshire and Stockport Breast Screening Service is part of the National Breast Screening Programme and is run by East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Knutsford Guardian: John Dillon, head of diagnostics at East Cheshire NHS Trust with the breast screening teamJohn Dillon, head of diagnostics at East Cheshire NHS Trust with the breast screening team (Image: East Cheshire NHS Trust)

“It provides a breast screening service for all women across East Cheshire, Mid Cheshire and Stockport aged 50 up to their 71st birthday.

“The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage, often before the woman is aware of any problem.

“This fantastic investment into a new screening van will lead to an increase in early detection of breast cancer, which often results in simpler and more successful treatment.”

Breast screening services are delivered at Macclesfield Hospital, Leighton Hospital and via the new mobile screening van.

The van is currently located at Bramhall Health Centre and will travel to local communities including Brinnington, Marple, Romiley and Shaw Heath.

Women will receive an invitation with the time, date and location of their appointment from their GP every three years from the the age of 50 to 71.

Scientific evidence shows that breast screening between these ages can reduce the death rate from breast cancer.

Currently, the NHS breast screening programme saves an estimated 1,400 lives each year in England.

More than two million women have breast cancer screening every year, with around 21,000 cancers detected.

This investment in breast screening units will continue to increase capacity to detect and deliver lifesaving treatment.