Breast Imaging & Diagnostic Service: The Forrest Centre
The Forrest Centre is a purpose built breast imaging centre situated in Northampton General Hospital, adjacent to the Integrated Surgery Department and overlooking car park one.
The staff at the Forrest Centre aim to provide a high quality, efficient and friendly breast service to the population of Northamptonshire.
We have state of the art full field digital mammography equipment, and two mobile digital breast screening vans.
Key roles of the Forrest Centre
- To co-ordinate the National Health Breast Screening Programme in the western half of Northamptonshire.
- To provide a symptomatic and follow-up breast diagnostic service for Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust.
The Breast Screening Service
The Northampton Breast Screening Service is part of the National Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) and invites around 18,500 women for screening each year.
We provide a free breast screening service for well women aged between 47 and 73. Once women reach the upper age limit for routine invitations for breast screening, they are encouraged to make their own appointment.
The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage, often before a woman is aware of any problem. Early detection may mean simpler and more successful treatment. The latest research shows that the NHS Breast Screening Programme is now saving 1,300 lives every year in England.
For every 200 women screened 1 life will be saved
To enable women to be screened closer to home we have two digital mobile screening units based at various locations in the community.(proposed dates for breast screening by practice) Breast Screening is available at the Forrest Centre Breast Screening Unit for women unable to access the mobile units . Please note due to limited facilities we are unable to accommodate children on our mobile units.
Extending The Screening Age Range Trial
In December 2007 the Department of Health’s Cancer Reform Strategy announced that the NHSBSP would be extended to cover women between the ages of 47 and 73, and will not affect women aged 50-70. For the effectiveness of the age extension to be evaluated, women who fall within the extended age range will be randomised. Approximately half of women aged 47-49 and 70 -73 in our area will be selected at random to receive screening invitations. Any woman who is randomised out can ring in for an appointment when their surgery is being screened.
Self-referral is encouraged for those over the age for automatic invitation and any women who have missed screens, including those who have moved into the area and might exceed the three year interval.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme is subject to monitoring by the Quality Assurance Reference Centre(QARC). It ensures rigourous quality assurance standards are maintained.
General Enquires:01604 545825/30
Click here to find schedule for GP Breast Screening locations and dates
Links to useful websites:
Screening leaflets available in different formats and languages https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/breast-screening-helping-women-decide
Dr C R Pal - Consultant Radiologist/Programme Director
Dr J Wise - Associate Specialist
Nancy Layt - Consultant Radiographer
Mrs Jane Odell - Superintendent Radiographer
Mrs Sarah Ogden - Screening Office Manager
The Forrest Centre would like to thank the women and organisations from Northampton who through donations have enabled extra equipment to be purchased, to improve a patient care.
Equipment purchased includes:
Encore Vacuum Assisted Biopsy unit
2x IDI documentation centres
Mammography/ stereo positioning table
- Direct requests for mammograms are not accepted.
- Any patients with breast symptoms should contact their General Practitioner who will arrange a referral if required to the Breast Clinic.
- All referrals are seen with two weeks.
We perform all the tests you require for diagnosis in one clinical visit. These may include:
- Mammogram – x-ray of the breast
- Breast Tomosynthesis
- Ultrasound –uses sound waves to image the breast
- Core-needle biopsy/ vacuum biopsy –used to obtain a small amount of breast tissue for testing which are sent to a pathologist for examination under a microscope.
Be Breast Aware
The Five Point Code:
- Knowing what your breast normally look and feel like.
- Looking at and feeling your breasts regularly.
- Knowing what to look for.
- Continue to attend breast screening every three years.
- If you notice any changes report these to your GP without delay, even if you have recently been screened.
Key personnel for referral with contact numbers
Breast Clinic Co-ordinator – Tel: 01604 544308
Breast Care Nurses – Tel: 01604 545512
Mr J Dawson
Mr J Harisha
Mr H Khan
Women with concerns over a family history of breast cancer or suspected increased risk should contact their General Practitioner who can make a referral if necessary to the Oxford Genetics Department .The woman will then be sent a questionnaire by Oxford to assess her level of risk .
We follow the National Institute guidelines which provide guidance on risk, and appropriate screening for different risk groups. www.nice.org.uk.