The programme was set up by the Department of Health in 1988 in response to the recommendations of a working group, chaired by Professor Sir Patrick Forrest, which had been set up to consider whether or not to implement a population screening programme in the UK. The report Breast Cancer Screening was published in 1986, and became known as The Forrest Report. The NHS Breast Screening Programme was the first of its kind in the world. It began inviting women for screening in 1988 and national coverage was achieved by mid 1990s.
Click here for the latest statistics on the NHS Breast Screening Programme (England) (A separate browser window will open).
- NHSBSP home page
- Programme publications
About breast screening
- What is breast screening?
- What does the NHS Breast Screening Programme do?
- When was the NHS Breast Screening Programme set up?
- What happens at a breast screening unit?
- Why are women under 50 not routinely invited?
- Are women screened over the age of 70?
- Screening women at higher risk
- Does breast screening save lives?
- Does breast screening have any risks?
- What is Digital Mammography?
- Research in breast screening
- About breast cancer
- Programme logistics
- Frequently asked questions
- Programme statistics
- Mammography equipment reports
- Programme news index
- Useful links