The Liverpool Breast Unit is where patients with breast problems and breast cancer across Merseyside come for care. We provide high quality, innovative and compassionate care.

We see patients referred with breast symptoms by their GP/doctor at Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Aintree University Hospital. 

We offer a state-of-the-art diagnostic services, breast screening, breast surgery, research, trials and family history assessment in a caring and supportive environment.

Patients with breast cancer are treated at both Aintree University Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals. 

We provide a full range of breast conserving, oncoplastic and reconstructive surgery options and work closely with The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust to deliver individualised care plans for all of our cancer patients.

Our cancer patients are supported by a specialist nurse key worker. We are actively involved in breast cancer research and aim to provide the option of entering clinical trials to all of our patients.

Breast screening is undertaken at multiple sites across Liverpool and Sefton including Broadgreen Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Breast surgery is undertaken at our Broadgreen Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The Breast Unit provides various breast clinics including:

  • New patient clinics
  • Breast screening recall/ assessment clinics
  • Results clinics

Please let us know if you need any help with wheelchair access, interpreters or signers.

New patient clinics

If you have a new breast symptom your GP/doctor will assess you. GPs diagnose and treat many illnesses themselves. However, they may need to refer you to a dedicated Breast Unit for more specialist care. If you are referred, you will be seen within two weeks at our New Patient Clinic. Most patients referred to the breast clinic will not have cancer, but it is important to establish the correct diagnosis for each patient quickly, so that appropriate advice and treatment can be given where needed.

At the New Patient Clinic we perform the tests needed for cancer diagnosis in one clinic visit where possible. This may include mammograms, ultrasound scans and biopsies. 

What will happen at the clinic?

After you have booked in at reception, one of our staff will meet you in the waiting room, take you through into the clinical area. You will have a consultation with a breast specialist who will examine you and decide whether further tests are needed. Not all patients need to have tests. You will receive results from mammogram or ultrasound scans on the same day. If you have a biopsy a further appointment will be made for you to receive the results in two weeks.

Your appointment may take between 1 to 3 hours. Friends and relatives are asked to wait in the main waiting area while patients wait for their tests in the clinic. This is to respect the privacy of other patients undressed and wearing hospital gowns. However, you may request your friend or relative to accompany you when it’s your turn to see the specialist.

Breast Screening Recall/ Assessment Clinics

Some women may be asked to come for a second visit after their screening mammogram. This is because their breast X-rays (mammograms) did not give enough information and more detail is needed to help us decide on a result.

After a routine screening mammogram - there are three possible outcomes/results:

1. Normal

Your X-rays have shown no signs of cancer and you will be invited again in three years’ time for your next routine screen. If you will be over 70 then please contact us for an appointment nearer the time.

2. Technical Repeat

Sometimes the quality of the X-ray does not allow for all the breast tissue to be seen clearly and needs to be repeated for technical reasons only. Approximately 3 out of every 100 women screened will be called back for a technical repeat to get a clearer, more detailed mammogram. You will usually be invited to attend the screening site where you had the initial mammograms performed, although in certain cases it may be necessary to ask you to attend the Breast Unit at Royal Liverpool University Hospital so that your X-rays that need repeating can be checked for their technical quality, before you leave.

3. Assessment

Sometimes the mammograms do not give enough information and a further examination is needed before we can decide on a result. If this is the case you will receive an appointment to attend our ‘Screening Recall/ Breast Assessment Clinic’ at the Breast Unit in Royal Liverpool University Hospital. 

Approximately 5 out of 100 women who have breast screening will be asked to come back to our clinic for a further examination. 4 out of 5 of these women will be found to have a normal result. This additional appointment is part of routine screening and for most women invited back nothing of concern will be found. Any women invited to an assessment clinic will be able to speak to a member of staff by telephone if they want more information before attending.

When you arrive for this visit, a clinician from our specialist multi- disciplinary team will explain what will happen and keep you informed at all stages. It may be necessary to have another mammogram or one or two tests during this visit. When you arrive for this visit. In these clinics we perform as many of the tests as possible that are needed for cancer diagnosis in one clinic visit.

Several tests may be performed including clinical examination, mammograms, ultrasound scans and biopsies.

How long will I be at the clinic?

Your appointment may take between 1 to 3 hours. Friends and relatives are asked to wait in the main waiting area while patients wait for their tests in the clinic. This is to respect the privacy of other ladies who may be undressed and wearing hospital gowns. However, you may request your friend or relative to accompany you when it’s your turn to see the specialist for any results.

We appreciate that it may be worrying to be invited for a further appointment, but please remember that the majority of women (4 out of every 5) that come back to this assessment clinic are found to have a normal result.

If you have a biopsy a further appointment will be made for you to receive the results in two weeks.

Results Clinics

Results clinics are held in the breast unit at Aintree University Hospital and in Outpatients 1 at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. 

You will receive the results of your investigations from a member of the specialist breast team. They will discuss your results and explain any treatment needed. You can bring a friend or family member to your appointment.

What happens when you come for your routine breast screening appointment?

At your appointment the reception staff will confirm your details and give you information about how you will receive your results. You will then be asked to wait in the main waiting area. From the waiting area a mammographer (who will ALWAYS be a female Radiographer) will take you to a private changing room, where she will ask you the following questions:

You will be asked to confirm your name and address and then asked some questions about your health.
After the interview you will be asked to remove your clothes from above your waist. It is best to wear separates such as a skirt or trousers and top rather than a dress. You can then put your cardigan/ coat/shawl around your shoulders while you wait in the changing room to help keep you covered and warm, as we do not provide gowns.

You will then be taken directly into the X-ray room, where the mammographer will show you the equipment used to carry out the mammogram. You will be able to ask the mammographer any questions you have about the test, although the mammographer does have a limited time to perform the mammogram (approx. six minutes per appointment). 

The mammographer usually takes two X-rays of each breast, with any additional X-rays, if required. During the mammogram, the mammographer will put you into the correct positions needed. If at any time you feel unsteady, tell the mammographer, who will offer you a special seat that you can sit on for your mammogram. 

To obtain the highest quality images of your breasts requires the breasts to be held firmly, (one at a time) between two flat plastic plates. The pressure can feel a little tight and uncomfortable but should not really hurt and it only lasts a few seconds for each X-ray taken.

After your mammogram, the mammographer will take you back to your room, where you will then be able to get dressed and leave the unit.

You will receive your results in the post within three weeks.

Your guide to breast screening on the NHS website.

If you will be over 70 when your next screening mammogram is due, the mammographer will give you extra information and guidance about how to go about requesting an appointment. 


Your mammograms are reviewed by two specialised film readers and the results will be sent to your home address within three weeks. Your GP/doctor will also be notified of your results. If you have not heard from us within three weeks please contact us on 0151 282 6920/6921.

More information

Patients with a breast symptom can be referred to the breast unit by their GP/doctor or walk in centre.

We aim to see all patients who are referred with suspected cancer within two weeks. 

We will always offer the earliest available appointment to a patient – this may mean the appointment is not at their nearest hospital.

We aim to provide all patients with confirmation of a diagnosis within 28 days of their referral.

All women aged between 50-70 who are registered with a GP are invited to attend breast screening. This invitation is co-ordinated with GP practices. 

Patients with an abnormality picked up on their screening mammogram will be referred to the breast unit for further investigation and treatment.

Aintree University Hospital

Breast Unit, Elective Care Centre, Ground floor

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Breast Unit, Lower ground floor