Proportion of women taking up breast screening invitations falls

The proportion of women aged 50-70 taking up routine breast screening invitations fell to 70.5% in 2017-18, down from 71.1% in 2016-17 and from 73.2% in 2007-08. The acceptable level1 of uptake is 70 per cent.

The Breast Screening Programme England, 2017-18 report, published today by NHS Digital shows that:

  • 2.54 million women aged 50-70 were invited for breast screening in England during 2017-18. This compares with 2.59 million in 2016-17 and 2.17 million in 2007-08.
  • Of these, 1.79 million women were screened by the programme in 2017-18. This compares with 1.84 million in 2016-17 and 1.59 million in 2007-08.

According to the report, uptake2 by women aged 50-70 fell in most reporting regions in 2017-18 when compared with the previous year3.

The report shows that uptake was highest in the East Midlands at 73.6%.

Uptake was above the national minimum standard of 70% in all but two regions4; London, where it was 63.3% and the North West at 69.8%.

Coverage5, which is measured for women aged 53-70, dropped slightly to 74.9% in 2017-18, from 75.4% in 2016-17.