More women taking part in breast screening programme

New statistics show increase in uptake of appointments in Scotland.

The number of women being tested for breast cancer is at its highest ever level in Scotland.

More than three in four women (75.9%) took up their screening invitations over the three-year period 2020 to 2023, Scottish breast screening programme statistics indicate.

This is an increase on the previous three-year period (2019-22) when uptake was 74.5% and pre-pandemic (2017-20) when uptake was 72.2%.

The figures also show that all NHS boards individually have met the acceptable uptake standard of 70% for a second year in a row.

Women’s Health Minister Jenni Minto said:

“I am pleased that more women are attending breast screening appointments and that boards have individually met their target for a second year in a row. However, there is more work to be done to reach the achievable target of 80% and to encourage people from more deprived areas to attend their appointments.

“We will continue to work with health boards to encourage more women to participate in breast screening and address any barriers they may face in doing so.”


Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 approximately every 36 months. This is in line with the recommendation from the UK National Screening Committee. Screening was paused between March and August 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme continues to offer appointments at six breast screening centres across Scotland, as well as the mobile screening units which allow women in more remote areas to access screening more easily.


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