BreastCheck (National Breast Screening Register)

Data Collection Type
National data collections of health and social care in Ireland
Organisation

HSE, National Screening Service

Year established

2000 — three health board regions. 
2005 — partial expansion.
2007 — national.

Statement of purpose

BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening and invites women aged between 50 to 64 years for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years. The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage. The purpose of the database is to provide a population register containing demographic data to identify eligible women for the purposes of screening. Clinical data is collected on individuals that receive a service, which is provided by clinicians and entered by data officers.

Coverage

National — BreastCheck is implementing an age-extension project which by 2021 will see all women aged between 50 to 69 years invited for routine breast screening every two years.

Description

BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening to women through a network of four static centres and a number of mobile units. Screening is offered to eligible women by personal invitation for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years. 

BreastCheck compiles a register (list) of women eligible for screening from information supplied by the Department of Social Protection, General Medical Services and private health insurance providers. BreastCheck is allowed to source this information under The Health (Provision of Information) Act, 1997.

Data content

Client data information; clinical examination/results of screening; further assessments/data on cancers detected; outcome of treatments/follow-up data may be included after consideration; standardised data sheets completed by surgeons; surgical data on biopsy reports (in cases where women attend another hospital for pathology and/or surgery); standardised data forms completed by pathologists; biopsy reports/hospital pathology records (in cases where women attend another hospital for pathology and/or surgery).

Data providers

In order to identify the target population for screening, data is supplied by the Department of Social Protection, General Medical Services, private health insurance providers and also self-registration by women. Clinical data is collected on individuals that receive a service, which is provided by clinicians and entered by data officers.

Data collection methodology

Monthly upload of files received from each of the providers. There is also a BreastCheck website facility for self-registration by women. External agency carries out a de-duplication process every month.

Data dictionary

Not available

Clinical coding scheme

Not in use

Size of national collection

Approximately 220,000 women invited for screening annually. The target uptake for the programme is >70%.

Publication frequency

Annual

Accessing data

Programme report and data requests.

Open data portal access

No.

Email contact
Telephone contact
Other comments

Maintenance of the population register is by an external data management company.