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Grampians BreastScreen improves breast screening accessibility

BreastScreen staff with new accessibility chair.

BreastScreen Victoria is committed to making the screening process as easy as possible for people with mobility issues. With their new specialist mammography chair, Grampians BreastScreen recently took a significant step towards this goal.

Grampians BreastScreen Program Manager Diane Sartori said that the idea came from a conversation with Radiographer Leonie Savige.

“We were talking about how to manage screening for clients who are unsteady on their feet. Leonie mentioned a chair she had seen used for breast screening before, so I worked with the Grampians Designated Radiographer Sue Ross to research chairs designed for screening.”

The team was convinced after an online demonstration. The chair has many innovative features, including electric height adjustment, a backrest and footrest, large, smooth-running wheels with a central break, and foldable armrests that allow a client to more easily transfer between it and a wheelchair. The chair is also designed to meet stringent hygiene requirements.

While it is available for all clients, the mammography chair is optimally designed for clients who need to sit down during a breast screen. Grampians BreastScreen received the mammography chair in December 2021, and it has already been put to great use.

“Clients who have screened on the chair have said it allowed them to screen with dignity and made them feel safe and supported,” Di said.

Along with the chair, the Grampians BreastScreen team made several other upgrades to improve accessibility and work practices. They have a dedicated wheelchair for the clinic and additional stools on both sides of the mammogram machine, so radiographers don’t have to bend too low or relocate their seats each time they move. The improvements are already making a valuable difference to staff and clients.