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Launch of 2011 Annual Report of Symptomatic Breast Care Services at Galway University Hospitals

The 2011 Annual Report for Symptomatic Breast Care Services at Galway University Hospitals (GUH) was launched on Friday 22 February at the Symptomatic Breast Unit.
Since the establishment of the National Cancer Control Programme in 2007, the Breast Care Service at GUH has expanded rapidly with additional consultant and staff appointments, infrastructure developments and the opening of a purpose-built facility as part of a complex which includes BreastCheck, the National Breast Cancer Screening Programme. The Symptomatic Breast Unit at GUH also includes a satellite centre at Letterkenny General Hospital.
Bill Maher, CEO of the Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group said, “The Symptomatic Breast Unit has seen enormous developments over the last six years and there has been a profound change in the way we provide the service which has been completely rejuvenated. The radiotherapy development and oncology services at GUH now provide every component of state of the art breast cancer treatments for women with breast symptoms. The service has a very proactive quality assurance programme which gives us confidence that we are providing a service on a par with anywhere in the world both here in Galway and at the satellite centre in Letterkenny.”
Mr Ray McLaughlin, Consultant Surgeon and Lead Clinician at the Symptomatic Breast Unit commented, “The report launched today provides an overview of 2011 and the most striking aspect in terms of activity at the breast service that year was the significant increase in the number of new cancers diagnosed, while at the same time the number of new patient referrals decreased. In 2010 we saw 7,778 new patients and made 333 diagnoses; in 2011 we saw 6,932 new patients and made 372 cancer diagnoses.
“The diagnostic tests (triple assessment), treatment options and the access to clinical trials available in Galway compare favourably with any international centre and the team here work extremely hard to ensure that we provide a world class service for breast cancer patients across the region.”
Some key findings from the 2011 annual report:

  • The waiting list is proactively managed to meet the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) key performance indicators. For example, the target set is that 95% of urgent patients should get an appointment within 10 working days and GUH achieved 100% in 2011; the NCCP target for surgical intervention within 20 days of definitive diagnosis is 90% and GUH achieved 98%.
  • Same day imaging was provided to all patients triaged as urgent.
  • 97% of patients requiring surgery and radiotherapy began their radiotherapy treatment within 12 weeks of their final surgical procedure.
  • 99% of patients had chemotherapy within 8 weeks of the final surgical procedure.
  • The radiotherapy department provides the lead nationally for implementing clinical trials in radiotherapy for breast cancer patients. Galway remains the only centre in Ireland to offer women the opportunity to participate in all three ICORG (All Ireland Cooperative Oncology Research Group) sponsored trials.
  • In addition, the research programme at the unit is extremely vibrant in terms of publications, clinical and laboratory science with the supporting roles of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and the Clinical Trials Unit at GUH.

Photo Details:
At the launch of the 2011 Annual Report for the Symptomatic Breast Unit at Galway University Hospitals, from left: Bill Maher, CEO, Galway and Roscommon University Hospitals Group; Mr Kevin Barry, Consultant Breast Surgeon, Mayo General Hospital; Pauline Mc Gough, Clinical Nurse Manager II, Symptomatic Breast Unit; Mr Ray Mc Laughlin, Lead Clinician, Symptomatic Breast Service; and Geraldine Cooley, A/Business Manager, Symptomatic Breast Unit.