Video shows support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020 ahead of report publication

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) has shown its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a video outlining some of the findings and proposed recommendations of its forthcoming national report on breast surgery.

The 70-second video is being shared on Twitter and LinkedIn throughout October to highlight the work of the programme in reviewing breast services across England.

GIRFT clinical lead Fiona MacNeill (a consultant breast surgeon at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust) and clinical advisor Tracey Irvine (a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) have held ‘deep dive’ meetings with more than 120 breast and plastic surgery teams as part of their peer-to-peer review.

Their national report – due to be published soon – will be the most complete picture of breast surgery there has ever been: the first time data about all breast operations in England has been brought together. It proposes a series of recommendations to empower patients to have more control and choice over their tests and treatment.

Running throughout October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, highlighting the importance of breast awareness, education and research. Breast cancer is the most common female cancer, accounting for around 15% of all newly-diagnosed cancers in the UK – 55,000 women and 400 men a year, or 150 people a day.

Data in the GIRFT report shows there are around 102,000 breast operations every year in the NHS in England, 60% relating to primary breast cancer treatment.

There are also more than 500,000 new outpatient referrals annually via the ‘urgent’ two-week wait cancer pathway, although only 5% receive a positive diagnosis. The GIRFT report proposes improving the experience for breast surgery patients by:

  • Refining the breast cancer referral process to ensure it is more suited to patients’ needs, whether they are at low or high risk of cancer
  • Improving access to surgery, ensuring that any person with breast cancer can make a balanced and informed choice on their treatment, unrestricted by resources, and has access to oncoplastic surgery for breast conservation and the full range of reconstruction techniques
  • Reducing time spent in hospital by making sure that no patient needs to undergo more surgery than is necessary, and increasing rates of day surgery to prevent overnight stays.

You can watch the GIRFT video by following @NHSGIRFT on Twitter or click here.

6 October 2020