STAFF are preparing to welcome the arrival of a new mobile breast screening unit in Thornbury. 

The unit from Avon Breast Screening, which is run by North Bristol NHS Trust, will be moving to the town on Tuesday, November 14. 

It will be located in the Tesco Superstore in Midland Way until the end of April 2024 offering breast screening appointments. 

While the unit is located in Thornbury, women between the ages of 50 and 70 who are registered with any of the following GP surgeries will be invited via letter. 

This includes Streamside Surgery, Pilning Surgery, Thornbury Health Centre, St Mary Street Surgery, and Almondsbury Surgery.

According to the NHS Trust, a mobile breast screening unit was unable to come to the area in 2020/21 due to locations being streamlined in response to COVID-19 and the restrictions in place. 

During this time, women were asked to travel to the Bristol Breast Care Centre at Southmead Hospital for routine breast screening appointments.  

Dr Alice Pocklington, director of screening at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to be back in the Thornbury area with our new state-of-the-art mobile screening unit, helping as many women as possible access a breast screening appointment locally.

“Our team of friendly radiographers are looking forward to welcoming women in the area, so please come forward for your screening appointment when invited.”

A breast screening appointment lasts less than 15 minutes but has the potential to save a patient's life by detecting breast cancer at an earlier stage, resulting in better outcomes.

In the UK, early breast screening saves an average of 1,300 lives a year. 

Between April 2022 and March 2023, the Avon Breast Screening Programme screened 41,999 women of which 404 were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.