I cover the primary and secondary pathway and the screening programme is located withing our department. When I get a patient diagnosed with a secondary then I email the girls in NBSS and they remove them from the register for me. The problem comes if they have a diagnosis and I'm not aware of them.
If i am on annual leave and somebody else sees the patient in the breast clinic then I do ask them to email to get them removed from the register.
I just checked with my ex colleague in screening admin.
She said that unless they have evidence that someone has had a bilateral mastectomy ( ie notification from surgeon) they will always invite the woman to ensure she is not missed.
Often GP's misinterpret the information from letters so will say someone has had a bilateral mastectomy when they've only had one side done or vice versa!
As a screening service they can put a flag on a record to say the woman need not be invited as long as they have evidence its not required. I don't think this sorts the problem for you Lyn but may offer an explanation.
Echoing what Catherine said, pts can ring and take themselves off the list, or a nurse can do that on their behalf, or it can come from the gp. I worked as a screening nurse for a while and unfortunately that sort of thing is really difficult, I think most areas struggle to even keep to time with the patient invites, they are done in 'rounds' of gp surgeries in the areas, it's a huge undertaking and very much done with just generated computer lists. If pts or someone on their behalf wants to take them off the list, calling the screening centre directly is the best bet.
This is something we hear from time to time on the BCC Helpline, and yes can be very distressing indeed. I'll check it out a bit more for you with a contact I have in the screening service.
However from memory (!) GP's are asked to provide the names of all their patients who require/are eligible for routine screening when their practice in being screened, so they should not be giving names of patients like you describe in the first place.
I think there should also be a note on the patient file within the screening service that they no longer require routine screening - whether that's because they have had a bilateral mx, maybe (but not always) because they have metastatic disease, or haven't had a diagnosis of BC but have simply have said (in writing) do not invite me for routine screening which a number of women do.
I'll check it out further though so I have an up to date and accurate answer for you.
Just wondering how people felt about our patients being called by the national breast screening programme for routine mammography?
Our consultants are of the opinion that it is not necessary when they are often having 12 weekly CT or such like.
How can I prevent my patients being sent these often distressing letters?
I had a patient contact me today about it. She described feeling that the letter was insensitive to her situation and completely impersonal. Imagine you've had a double mastectomy!!