PERFORMANCE: A Surrey breast screening centre run by Virgin Care Services is being investigated following a ‘large number’ of waiting times breaches.

The probe of the Jarvis Breast Centre is being carried out jointly by the private provider and North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group after 35 patients were not tested within two weeks of their GP referrals during April and July.

All breaches related to women referred for non-urgent breast symptomatic tests.

More than two-thirds of these breaches were due to “clinic capacity”, according to Surrey Downs CCG October board papers. The rest were due to patient choice.

Breast cancer xray

All the breaches related to women referred for non-urgent breast symptomatic tests

North West Surrey CCG had urged Virgin Care to improve performance in a recent letter.

While the investigation had been due to finish in mid October, it will now continue until January.

Virgin Care has agreed to hold nine extra clinical sessions per week to avoid further breaches until the probe concludes.

A spokeswoman for the centre said it was “working closely with the CCG to better manage demands upon the service following a dramatic increase in activity”.

She added: “In the meantime we have increased the number of clinical sessions to ensure that patients are seen within the target.”

North West Surrey CCG said that Virgin Care was now hitting the target.

A spokesman said: “In March of this year Virgin Care Services failed to meet the non-urgent breast symptomatic two week wait target (cancer not suspected).

“Early investigations confirmed that these referrals were all of a non-urgent nature and identified a mix of patient choice and clinic capacity as the drivers behind the non-compliance.

“Latest available data for August shows that recovery to target compliance has been achieved, and this was accompanied by no breaches attributed to clinic capacity.

“An ongoing joint service investigation has been initiated to understand any underlying causes behind the performance issues and to make a set of recommendations for the future.”