Breast screening: identifying and reducing inequalities

Guidance and shared practice for breast screening providers, commissioners and other stakeholders on addressing inequalities.

Applies to England



This guidance is to support breast screening providers, commissioners and other partners in identifying and reducing inequalities throughout the breast screening pathway.

It includes information and resources on how to:

  • identify inequalities
  • reduce inequalities

This guidance includes recommendations from a research project, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care through the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, to identify why some people from groups experiencing marginalisation and exclusion do not attend breast screening, and how to improve the experiences of those who are.

Many thanks to the following groups, who worked with Public Health England (PHE) on that project:

  • Faith Action
  • Friends
  • Families and Travellers
  • Latin American Women’s Rights Service
  • Macmillan
  • Association of Mental Health Providers on behalf of the Mental Health Consortia
  • Race Equality Foundation
  • The Lived Experience Alliance
  • The National LGB&T Partnership

The Cancer Research UK resource Reducing inequalities in cancer screening also has information and advice on identifying and reducing inequalities.

NHS breast screening providers can download and use the breast screening easy guide and accessible format informed choice letter templates when communicating with people with learning disabilities and others who struggle with written English.

Contact the screening helpdesk with any queries about this publication, making sure you include its full title.

Published 23 September 2021
Last updated 8 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Removal of easy read letter templates and replacement with link to new accessible format informed choice letter content publication.

  2. Addition of easy read letter templates for a normal breast screening result, and a technical recall.

  3. Addition of recall to assessment easy read letter template

  4. First published.