A new-look specialist breast unit at the Royal Free Hospital is helping staff to deliver better care and support to patients.

The unit has expanded, enabling the breast service to provide a much improved and more private environment for patients.

There are two new high tech mammogram machines, offering 3D imagery and the ability to take biopsies. By doubling capacity and upgrading equipment, more patients are able to receive same day images, speeding up both diagnosis and referral to a consultant.

The space has also been improved with the introduction of additional consulting rooms and toilet facilities.

Tina Kelleher, lead nurse for breast services, has worked for the service for more than 40 years and is delighted to see the improvements. She said: “We knew that a better space was something that patients desperately wanted and we did too. It’s a wonderful Christmas present for staff. We even have a dedicated nurses office now so that oncology and surgery cancer nurses can communicate so much more effectively, instead of having to find space wherever they can in the building. It will improve the patient experience so, so much and we are already receiving lots of positive feedback.”

Sara McGee, operations manager for plastics and breast surgery, said: “We’ve been able to keep everything operational during the five-month project and I’m delighted to say we’ve not had one complaint from a patient about the works. This has involved a huge team effort from the department and the building project team and we would like to praise all involved for their tireless efforts to give our patients the very best possible service.”

(PIC: L-R - Azita Moman, senior radigrapher and mammographer and Gemma Fenlon, senior radiographer and trainee mammographer)