How to book a mammogram as Susanna Reid details 'hurdles' in securing an appointment

Susanna Reid says tried to book a mammogram appointment through the NHS
Susanna Reid says she faced 'hurdles' when trying to book a mammogram appointment through the NHS. (Getty Images)

Susanna Reid has detailed the 'hurdles' she had to overcome in order to book a mammogram through the NHS.

A mammogram is a breast screening that uses an X-ray to check for cancers in the breast that are too small to see or feel.

Any woman registered with a GP in the UK will be invited for an NHS breast screening every three years between the ages of 50 and 71.

Read more: Susannah Reid says Sarah Ferguson’s breast cancer diagnosis is a ‘wake-up call’ not to ignore routine screenings - Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read

Reid, 52, said the 'wake-up call' for her to book her mammogram came after Sarah Ferguson revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer after attending a routine appointment.

The Good Morning Britain presenter previously revealed that she hadn’t booked a mammogram appointment, despite receiving a letter from the NHS to do so.

"Yesterday I admitted that because I’d received an invitation to a mammogram rather than a mammogram appointment I had done what unfortunately 12,000 other women in London had done and not gone ahead and booked an appointment," Reid said.

"My excuse was, I just didn’t get round to it, and so yesterday I got round to it."

Reid said that she first looked up breast cancer screening services in her areas and on the NHS website and called the number provided only to be told that this was incorrect.

"I went online and looked up where the breast screening services are in my area on the NHS website, rang them up to be told, 'I’m really sorry, this isn’t the number to ring for your breast screening'," Reid recalled.

Reid’s GMB co-host Ed Balls said that this may have put a lot of people off, to which Reid agreed and said it was a 'hurdle'.

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Reid added that the women on the helpline gave her another number to call, so she called them and was offered an appointment at a hospital that was quite far away.

"I said, 'Oh that’s kind of a little bit far away, can I have a nearer one,' and she said, 'Well, your nearer one is actually outside your NHS area so I’ll have to pass you onto another number'. So that was the second hurdle," she said.

woman having a mammogram
Women over 50 should have a mammogram every three years. (Getty Images)

On her third phonecall, Susanna was told that because she wasn’t in the same NHS area as the hospital near her, she couldn’t book her mammogram over the phone. Instead, the operator said she would be sent a letter with an appointment time in the next fortnight.

"I think I’ve got an appointment but then of course I then have to have an appointment at a convenient time," Reid continued.

"Anyway, all I’m saying is it was straightforward enough, just a couple of hurdles in the way."

How to book a NHS mammogram

If you are a woman between the age of 50 and 71, you are entitled to have a mammogram through the NHS every three years.

The NHS says that you should receive a letter inviting you for your first mammogram between the ages of 50 and 53.

The letter will either give you a pre-booked appointment that tells you where to go and when, or it will invite you to book the appointment by phone, email or online.

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If you miss your appointment, you can contact your local NHS breast screening service to rebook. If you received a letter months ago you can still book it as per the instructions.

If you have not yet been sent a letter and you are 53 or older, or it has been more than three years since your last appointment, you can also contact your local breast screening services.

For more information on how to book a mammogram, visit the NHS website.

Watch: Sarah Ferguson recovering from surgery after breast cancer diagnosis