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Heartless thieves leave breast patients waiting

Heartless thieves leave breast patients waiting

A breast screening programme at the Royal Blackburn Hospital has been suspended after the theft of a power cable.

The mobile screening unit, which checks around 120 women a day for conditions such as cancer, had to be halted after the theft of a 10-metre electrical cable which insures the X-Ray machine runs smoothly.

Patients were referred to Burnley General Hospital if they wanted an immediate screening. Despite strenuous efforts to cancel appointments, patients like Mrs Patricia Clarkson (from Rishton) still attended. “I have travelled over from Chorley and had to get someone to cover my work” said Patricia, who works at the Derian House hospice in Chorley, “There are time and cost implications to my missing this appointment and the people who stole the cable are a nuisance.”

Sam West, Mammographer for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust added: “It is not just the inconvenience to patients. A lot of those coming today were first-timers and they are already in a highly emotional state. Somebody out there knows something about this crime and the people who committed it should remember that the women visiting here could be their mothers or their sisters.”

The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s breast screening service invites all women between 47-50 years of age in our area to be seen and screened. As the unit is mobile it will only be in Blackburn for the next fortnight and staff are concerned that some patients may now miss their appointment.

The unit should be back in working order within the next 48 hours. Patients are advised to contact 01282 805301 before setting out.

Anyone with information on the theft, should contact Blackburn Police on 01772 614444.

Pictured is mammographer Sam West (East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust)

ENDS

For more information, please contact the Communications Department on 01254 732867 or email communications@elht.nhs.uk