In order to help train specialist breast imaging staff across the country, an appeal has been launched to build a new £3m national training academy in Manchester.
The proposed centre of excellence would be based at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and would help play a key role in training specialist staff including mammographers, radiographers, and clinicians.
Supporting this, Health Education England (HEE) – who have helped develop the National Breast Imaging Academy – has already committed £6m to establish and deliver training.
This HEE funding has enabled Manchester Foundation Trust Charity and Prevent Breast Cancer to concentrate on raising £3.2m for a bespoke building to host the academy’s training programmes.
At present, demand for breast imaging currently outstrips capacity.
Since the start of the pandemic, that has been coupled with 1.5 million fewer breast screening appointments being carried out.
As well as offering extensive training facilities, the new centre will enable an extra 13,000 patients be seen each year and offer additional capacity for research into breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Mary Wilson, Consultant Breast Radiologist and Lead for the National Breast Imaging Academy, said: “Even before the coronavirus crisis, many breast services were struggling to diagnose and treat people as quickly as we would want, and the pressure on breast imaging was a big part of this.
“Unless we act now and create a building in which to train staff, we will be unable to meet the increased demands over the coming months and years, and more lives will be lost to this disease.”
More information on the academy and the appeal can be found here.