People power leads to cancer unit return

NEAABE110629c2, Eastwood couple Mr and Mrs Carey win protest over Greasley mobile breast scanner unit.
NEAABE110629c2, Eastwood couple Mr and Mrs Carey win protest over Greasley mobile breast scanner unit.

A MOBILE breast cancer screening unit will return to Newthorpe in July after public reaction changed health chiefs’ minds.

A petition was handed to Greasley Parish Council earlier this month with 2,291 people calling for the unit to come back to the area after it was taken away in March because of complaints about generator noise.

This week Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust announced that the unit will return to the town on July 25.

Campaigner and petition organiser Chris Carey said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news. I’m sure the community and local people will feel they have played their part in the decision.

“There was such a strong feeling about this. People were so angry and frustrated.

“A lot of time and effort could have been saved if the public were consulted before a decision was made but I’m thrilled to hear the news.”

The loss of the unit sparked a furious reaction amongst people in the town when it was decided in March that the unit would no longer hold screening sessions outside Greasley Sports Centre on Dovecote Road.

Campaigners said that women in the town, including many elderly pensioners, would be forced to catch two buses for a check up in Nottingham city centre.

Jane Cullin, Radiographic Service Manager for Breast Services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The overwhelming public support for this service highlights how important it is for women to have regular breast screening, particularly in a location that is more convenient for many of the local residents in Greasley and its surrounding areas.

Cllr Mick Owen was delighted at the news.

“If that centre saves one life then it’s well worth it being there. We were disgusted when it was taken away.

“The unit offers a vital service and was very busy. The outcry just showed how valued the unit is by people in the area and that can’t be ignored.

“I hope that the strength of feeling is retained and the support for the unit remains.”

The current screening programme will run until November.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said the decision to remove the unit was ‘not taken lightly’.

Jane Cullin added: “We are mindful of complaints from nearby residents about noise from the generator used to power the unit – especially at night – and would like reassure them that, due to the warmer weather, the muffled generator will only need to run during the day.

“We are continuing talks with the parish council and sports centre manager to ensure that a permanent, silent power supply is in place for the next round of screening.”