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Implications of Gisborne screening inquiry for BSA

National Screening Unit

Media release 25 June 2001

National Screening Unit assesses implications of Gisborne Inquiry recommendations for BreastScreen Aotearoa

The National Screening Unit (NSU) has been assessing the potential implications of the Gisborne Inquiry Report for BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) since the report was released in April, says BreastScreen Aotearoa Manager Barbara Phillips.

"As BreastScreen Aotearoa completes its initial set-up phase and in light of the release of the Gisborne Report the Unit is thoroughly reviewing progress to date. This work includes a provider audit programme that is well underway; work on the way information is held by the programme; the extension of the cancer audit work being done for the National Cervical Screening Programme to BreastScreen Aotearoa and the completion of a review of the BSA quality standards.

"The ongoing review and evaluation of BSA is an important part of ensuring the programme's effectiveness. Accordingly the Unit is taking into account the issues raised by Professor Skegg as well as those of the NSU's Expert Advisory Group. NSU officials will be meeting with Professor Skegg to discuss the issues further.

"Other work being carried out focuses on the development of the screening workforce and assessing the effectiveness of BSA's current age range.

"BreastScreen Aotearoa was launched in December 1998 with the quality safeguards that weren't in place when the National Cervical Screening Programme was established in the early 1990s.

"The Programme has had rigorous quality standards from the outset as well as an independent monitoring arm. Having these two quality assurance mechanisms in place since its beginning has given BSA the foundations on which to build," Ms Phillips says.

Within its first 21 months of operation almost half of all women aged 50-64 received free mammograms through BreastScreen Aotearoa, resulting in 956 breast cancers being detected.


For more information contact: Kallon Basham, National Screening Unit Ph: (07) 858 7067; Mob: 025 897 521; Internet address:

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