Research and developments

Breakthrough Breast Cancer logoOur Service Pledge for Breast Cancer

An initiative from Breakthrough Breast Cancer

We are working with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to develop a local service pledge for our breast cancer patients. The aim of this work is to use patient and staff feedback to make improvements to the support and services we provide for people with breast cancer.


What is Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for Breast Cancer?

Breakthrough’s Service Pledge for Breast Cancer helps breast care services to turn local patient feedback into real service improvements. For the past ten years, Breakthrough has been working with the NHS to give a voice to patients to help improve services and care. They work with hospitals to gather patient experience data and use this to develop action plans for service improvements. We hope that by working with them on this project our staff will develop their skills and knowledge and patients will benefit from improvements to the service.

Breast Unit service pledge survey cycle

Best practice

The Breakthrough Breast Cancer service pledge helps hospitals work to achieve the highest standards of care through patient-centred improvements. Based on national guidelinesand patient insight, it is seen as an example of best practice within the NHS and has secured Department of Health funding for a fourth year in a row.


How does it work?

The project is being led by Angela Duckworth who is based at the Breast Unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital and is being run in partnership with Breakthrough Breast Cancer.


Further information

If you would like further information or have any queries about this programme please contact:


Angela Duckworth – Macmillan Breast Nurse Practitioner – Breast Unit
Tel: 01204 390440


You are also welcome to contact the Service Pledge Team at Breakthrough Breast Cancer directly:

Catherine Wood, Senior Involvement Officer, Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Tel: 020 7025 0082

Clinical Research Team

The clinical research team works on clinical trials to research cancer treatments and run a number of trials for different types of cancer including breast cancer. The Breast Unit works with the research nurses to ensure that all patients are fully aware of and receive detailed information about any opportunities available to them to get involved with clinical trials.

The following is a list of the breast cancer trials we are currently recruiting to at the Royal Bolton Hospital:

  • EPHOS-B – A trial looking at the effect of having trastuzumab or lapatinib before surgery in early breast cancer.
  • MAMMO 50 – a trial looking at mammograms for women over 50 who have had breast cancer.
  • POSNOC – a trial to see whether axillary surgery is necessary or whether oral medication / chemotherapy treatment would give the same result.
  • EORTC Breast Reconstruction Study – a trial devising a quality of life questionnaire that is suitable to be given to ladies who are having / have had breast reconstructive surgery.
  • LORIS – a trial for low risk ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) patients to see if surgery is necessary or whether active surveillance is more appropriate.

Further information on clinical trials can be found on the Cancer Research UK website (link to external website) by using the search facility for clinical trials. If you would like more information the research nurses can be contacted on tel: 01204 390445 Monday to Friday, 8a.m. – 5p.m. and if they are unable to answer your call then please leave a message and they will get back to you.


Mastectomy Day Case Model

Introduction and implementation of the Day Case or One Overnight Stay Breast Surgical Model began from August 2010. The pathway had been promoted in other hospitals throughout the country and showed that patients preferred to be in their own environment post operatively with the benefit of a quicker recovery. The pathway was aimed at reducing the length of stay of breast cancer surgery patients (excluding reconstruction) whilst maintaining the best standard of care for breast cancer patients.

In the past, patients with breast cancer requiring surgery would have stayed in hospital up to six days post operatively. Through the introduction of this model, we have been able to improve the service we provide to our patients and reduce their time spent in hospital to day case or one night stay for 80% of our patients on this pathway.

Our patient feedback has shown that their overall experience and standard of care by being discharged in a more timely manner has improved. We are proud of our commitment to our patients and the service we provide. We aim to continue to strive to provide our patients and their families with an excellent standard of care.

Links to useful information on external websites:

Delivering major breast surgery (excluding reconstruction) as a day case or a one night stay

Best Patient Support Initiative


Radio-guided Occult Lesion Localisation (ROLL)

This procedure is used to localise non palpable (too small to be felt), usually screen detected breast changes so the abnormal area in your breast detected by mammography can be accurately surgically removed. The abnormal area of breast tissue is pinpointed by injecting a small amount of radioactive substance into the abnormal breast tissue and this can then be detected by a special probe in theatre to help the surgeon identify and remove the area of concern.

Although this method of localisation has been popular in Europe and some units in the UK, Bolton is the first unit in Greater Manchester to implement its use in 2011.



Lipomodelling or fat grafting is a procedure used to improve the contour or volume of a reconstructed breast or where there is a dent or deformity in the breast after breast cancer surgery.  It involves taking fat from elsewhere in the body and injecting it into the required area. The result can give a soft, natural appearance and feel. This technique has been introduced to oncoplastic breast units in the UK over recent years and is currently only available in a couple of units in Greater Manchester. It was introduced in Bolton in 2012.

Lipomodelling Guidelines for Breast Surgery (link to external website)

Visitor restrictions

To protect you and our staff during the current outbreak of Covid-19 we’ve put in place significant restrictions on hospital visitors.

Full details of these can be found on our website.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and helping us stop the spread of Covid-19.

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