Reshaping Breast Assessment Services

Consultation opened on 25 March 2019. Closing date 30 August 2019.


This document has been published by the Department of Health in order to consult the public, service users, patient representatives and other stakeholders on proposals to improve the timely delivery of breast assessment services in Northern Ireland.


Consultation description

The current configuration of breast assessment services in Northern Ireland does not consistently provide appointments within the national standard waiting times. It is therefore unsustainable. 

The consultation document reflects the work and recommendations of the Breast Assessment Project Board (“the Project Board”) which was established in 2017 to consider future service model options in light of ongoing capacity constraints and projected increases in demand. 

The consultation document:

  • describes what is meant by breast services and how these are currently delivered by Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland;
  • provides the national standards for waiting times to be seen at breast assessment clinics;
  • explains the ongoing challenges of meeting these standards through the current service model;
  • summarises the work of the Project Board in engaging with stakeholders to develop and assess options for service improvement; and,
  • provides recommendations for service reconfiguration with the objective of securing a service model which will provide a high quality, safe, sustainable, accessible and timely service.

We invite all stakeholders to consider and comment on the recommendations and proposed model for improving breast assessment services in Northern Ireland.

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