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Breast cancer screening service relocated from Finchley Memorial Hospital to St Michael Hospital in Enfield
Outrage has been sparked over the decision to relocate breast cancer screening services from Finchley to Enfield.
The service, which is available for women between 47 and 73 years old, has been moved from Finchley Memorial Hospital in Granville Road to St Michael Hospital in Gater Drive.
Councillor Helena Hart, Barnet Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health and chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board, has branded the decision “totally unacceptable”.
Cllr Hart said: “Neither the Health and Wellbeing Board nor the health overview and scrutiny committee had been made aware of this proposal and no consultation whatsoever had been carried out before this move was effected.”
The North London Breast Screening Service is based at Edgware Hospital but mobile screening vans are based at various sites across the area – one of which was at Finchley Memorial.
Cllr Hart has urged NHS England, which commissions the service, to move it back to Finchley urgently, claiming the relocation will mean many patients have to travel up to two hours by bus to attend their breast screening appointments.
But NHS England claims this is only a “temporary measure” and says it hopes to resume screening at Finchley Memorial, although a date has not been set.
A spokesman for NHS England said: “Recently there have been some temporary issues with the mobile service that had been established at Finchley Memorial Hospital.
“These issues included the need for considerable modification in order to have the right electrical supply installed on the mobile unit.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
A Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust spokesman said: “The trust has previously used Finchley Memorial Hospital as one of its sites and we are currently in negotiations with the new property management company for Finchley Memorial Hospital to continue this service for women in the area.
“Until the negotiations are complete, women in the Finchley area have initially been invited to the St Michaels site, with plans for future invitations for screening at either Edgware or Barnet Hospitals.
“This is only a temporary measure to ensure women do not experience any delays for their screening appointments.”
Cllr Hart will raise the matter at the next meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday, September 19.
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