Symptomatic Breast Unit Contents
The management of patients with symptomatic breast disease in the University Hospital Limerick began in October 1998 with the commencement of an out patient breast clinic and associated surgical service. In 2006 the “National Cancer Strategy - A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland” recommended that Cancer Centres should be networked together in managed Cancer Control Networks with Centres of excellence which could appropriately manage patients with breast disease. Consequently in November 2007 the Symptomatic Breast Unit in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital was designated as one of the eight specialist symptomatic breast units in Ireland.
The Symptomatic Breast Unit, as one of the eight designated centres of excellence in Ireland, aims to provide patients with a level of service which is easy to access and is as efficient as possible. In 2012 the Unit had approximately 7,110 attendances to the Breast Clinic. With activity at the unit increasing annually, and with the various aspects of the service currently available in different locations throughout the hospital, it has long been our ambition to provide a self-contained unit for breast patients in the Mid-West.
The move to the new Breast Specialist Unit within the new structure being developed on the campus of the University Hospital Limerick will benefit breast patients immensely. The service currently in place is a fragmented one, with breast clinics taking place in a prefabricated building extension off the main hospital, and breast imaging taking place in another section of the hospital. Our current clinic space is inadequate for our needs and patient satisfaction surveys conducted with our patients have identified our clinic surroundings as an issue. The limited space in our clinic waiting areas, and the fact the clinic space is spread over two floors, is unsatisfactory, in particular for patients who may have mobility issues. Following completion of the new building, all facilities, including clinic rooms, mammography and ultrasound rooms, the prosthesis fitting room and administrative offices will all be located on the one floor providing ease of access and improving efficiencies. We look forward to all these services being provided to breast patients in one state-of-the-art location providing ample space and comfort for all those attending our clinics.