CANCELLATION of a mobile breast screening service in Barnoldswick has led to some women giving the potentially life saving appointments a miss, heard councillors.

Even though they are being offered alternative appointments in Burnley, some have been turning them down because of the travel involved, heard the West Craven Committee of Pendle Council.

The mammography unit has in the past been sited in the car park of the town's Butts NHS Clinic, which is due to close, but not for several years and despite attempts to find an alternative location one has not been found.

Cllr Chris Church told the meeting of the West Craven Committee at the Rainhall Centre in Barnoldswick that it was causing a great amount of concern and he believed every effort should be made to find somewhere where the mobile unit could be parked.

Committee chair, Cllr David Whipp, said several people have said they have had to cancel because they can not take the time to travel to Burnley and back, and suggested the unit could be parked in Victory Park, Barnoldswick, or in front of the parish rooms in Earby.

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board said the unit had not been on site at the Butts Clinic for a variety of reasons and had relocated due to the impending closure of the clinic. The new clinic, in the former Yorkshire Bank, is due to open later this month.

Alistair Rose, director of strategic estates, infrastructure and sustainability for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: “The mammography unit has not been on site at Butts Clinic for several years for a variety of operational and Covid-19-related reasons. The service has now relocated the unit to Burnley due to the impending closure of the clinic, but also because the site itself caused operational problems with manoeuvring and placing the trailer.

“We are working with Pendle Council to identify suitable alternative site options and three potential sites that could be used as an alternative location have been identified. To be able to offer this service within the community, the site needs to be able to accommodate a 13.5 metre trailer with parking for staff and patients, as well as provision of appropriate power and water supplies, and access to toilet and kitchen facilities for staff.

“Initial discussions are being held with NHS Property Services and East Lancashire Hospital Trust, who provide the mammography service, to agree a solution.”