Gateshead breast services – a finalist for a prestigious award

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is delighted that our breast services were a finalist for the ‘Performance Recovery Award’ at the HSJ awards this month.

Breast services team attending the HSJ awards
Breast services team attending the HSJ awards

The Gateshead breast screening team cleared over 50,000 appointments over 18 months, including the backlog caused because of the covid pandemic. During the pandemic, breast screening was suspended for almost six months, during which time many of the staff were redeployed elsewhere. When screening restarted in August 2020, there were over 19,200 women who had missed their screening appointment due to Covid.

Breast cancer performance was similarly affected but despite a sustained increase in referral numbers the team have delivered all cancer performance standards consistently throughout 2022/23. 

Once appointments re-started, they took longer due to patient safety and increased infection control measures. Therefore, as part of the recovery plan, the team offered extra clinics, longer clinic times at various sites, and weekend work to ensure that they could catch up. 

Joanne Brand, Lead Radiographer said, “We pride ourselves in delivering an efficient and effective, high-quality service, delivered by a team of dedicated staff. In the 2020/21 screening cohort we invited 32,319 women for their breast screening appointments so from 2021 to date, we have invited over 52,000 women in total.

“This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all our staff.  I would like to thank them all. They have given their own time to work extra shifts and go above and beyond, to provide a service that makes me proud”.

Alice Leaver, Symptomatic Lead said, “The consistent delivery of cancer performance standards by Breast Services is a remarkable achievement and reflects the dedication of the entire team. This shines through in the outstanding patient feedback we receive such as patients rating their cancer care as 9.1 out of 10. A huge thank you to the team for their continued commitment to excellence.”

The Gateshead breast services cover Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, and County Durham.