Efficiency Review of the BreastCheck Screening Programme

The Efficiency Review of the BreastCheck Screening Programme was commissioned by the Department of Health in order to prepare for the age extension of BreastCheck to women up to the age of 69 years, as provided for in the Programme for Government.

The Efficiency Review concludes that the BreastCheck screening programme is operating at 90% efficiency within the current staffing resources available to it. The review makes a number of recommendations on how the screening process could be enhanced to increase the number screened.

The screening target is for 140,000 women to be screened at two year intervals (between 21-27 months). At present, about 18,000 have not being screened within this timeframe. However, it is important to note that the delay in the 2 year screening interval is only 3 – 5 months.

Separately, BreastCheck today published their Programme Report for 2011-2012. The Report provides screening statistics for women who were invited for their mammogram in 2011, in addition to programme developments and updates that occurred during 2012.

The Department will continue to work with the HSE’s National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) to ensure that the efficiency of BreastCheck is maximised and to prepare for the extension of the eligible population to 69 years of age. The NCSS will examine in detail the options for dealing with the current backlog.

Note: The review was carried out by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCC, in conjunction with the Centre for Health Policy and Management, TCD.

DOHC BreastCheck review letter