Mobile Breast Screening in Fleetwood saves lives – bring it back!
To: Dr Michelle Brotherton, Director of Screening for the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Service
The Mobile Breast Screening Unit is no longer running sessions in Fleetwood. We believe it’s wrong that Fleetwood women, living in one of the most deprived areas of the country, are being expected to travel between 10 and 38 miles by public transport to attend a breast screening appointment in either Blackpool or Lytham.
Given the poor public transport links, and the travel costs, many women say they simply won’t be able to attend their appointment.
Fleetwood has below average car ownership and above average numbers of people on low incomes. Life expectancy is closely related to people’s socio-economic circumstances. The most common measure of these circumstances across a population is deprivation – and both Fleetwood and Over Wyre have some of the most deprived wards in the UK. We believe that it’s unfair Fleetwood and Over Wyre face health inequalities not experienced by other, more affluent towns along the Fylde Coast.
More women attend appointments in affluent areas and therefore siting it in Lytham gives the impression the service is reaching more people. This is obviously very concerning as target driven decision making is often at the core of health inequality issues leading to people in poorer areas having significantly poorer health. Where there is deprivation, there is poor health and its in these areas that we need more services, not fewer.