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Symptomatic Breast Service and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symptomatic breast clinic at St. Vincent’s University Hospital had to cancel both follow up and non-urgent new referral appointments from mid-March 2020.

An urgent access clinic has continued to operate albeit at reduced capacity for patients with symptoms highly suspicious for breast cancer in accordance with guidance from the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP).

The symptomatic breast service has now started to incrementally resume activity.

To allow for social distancing for the safety of patients and staff, the number of patients that can physically attend each clinic will be less than before.

Some of the measures being implemented to enable us to deal with both cancelled appointments and new referrals awaiting a scheduled appointment are outlined below.

New Referrals

Patients are referred to us by their GP.   As before, all referrals are assessed by one of the consultant team and in accordance with national guidelines, the referral is then categorised as urgent or routine.  This assessment is made based on the symptoms and examination findings described on the NCCP Symptomatic referral form submitted by your GP.

All referrals submitted since March 2020 have been accepted and will receive an appointment in the weeks ahead.  Patients do not need to seek a new referral from their GP.

Appointment information will be sent to patients by post and be confirmed by telephone call.

The current wait time for urgent appointments is approximately 20 working days.  The wait time target for non-urgent appointments is 3 months.  Due to the COVID pandemic we cannot see all patients within 3 months of referral at present but all efforts are being made improve this.

If you are concerned that your symptoms have changed or progressed you should contact your GP.

Return Patients

Patients who normally attend for annual review will be contacted by telephone by one of the doctors or advanced nurse practitioners for their follow up rather than a physical clinic visit.  Any resultant investigations (eg scheduling of annual mammogram) will be organised from this.

We thank you for your co-operation at this time.  Our contact details and links are below.

Contact Details 

Breast secretarial services:                       (01) 221 3778 / 3247
(note; our administration team are not clinically trained so cannot advise on symptoms)

Breast Clinical nurse specialists:             (01) 221 4448 / 4452

Visit our Breast Endocrine and General Surgery web page

Consultant Breast Surgeons (

Mr EW McDermott,                      Mr D Evoy

Mr J Geraghty                                Ms J Rothwell

Ms R Prichard                                Mr D McCartan

Useful Links

National Cancer Control Programme GP Breast Guideline & Referral Form

Breast Pain: A Guide for women

How to do a breast examination