Store told breast cancer screening unit to leave

Breast screening unit
Breast screening unit

NHS Scotland has admitted that an “administrative error” forced them to move their breast screening unit from Aldi’s car park to Sainsburys last weekend.

But discount supermarket Aldi has been accused of biting the hand that feeds it by insisting the cancer screening unit vacate its car park last weekend when its six week agreement with the NHS was up.

The life-saving unit had to relocate, at an alleged cost of £1000, next door to the smaller Sainsbury’s car park.

The NHS also had to rush out a tranche of letters to women due to have mammograms to inform them of the sudden change of venue.

One Garlieston woman who attended for screening on Tuesday said: “I think it’s dreadful that the unit had to move from Aldi. It seems the decision wasn’t taken locally but by someone in their head office.

“Aldi should remember that its the women of this area that shop there and have turned it into the busiest supermarket in the town.” Another woman added: “The unit is only here every three years and saves a 120-mile round trip to Dumfries Infirmary. Many partners, husbands and friends who accompany the ladies go into the store to do a shop whilst they wait. The mobile unit took up six parking spaces at the side of Aldi car park, which doesn’t ever get full.

“In my opinion, the decision to move must has been taken by some ‘big wig’ in a city office who does not know what community spirit is.

“Sainsbury’s car park is smaller than Aldi but they do know all about community spirit, they support local projects and charities and also understand how much it means to the ladies to keep the mobile unit in the town. So hats off to Sainsburys and thank you.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We provided a location for NHS Scotland’s breast screening unit for an agreed six-week period. After this time the unit moved to a convenient location nearby. We have supported this initiative for a number of years and will continue to work with NHS Scotland in the future.”

Dr Elspeth Lindsay, Clinical Director South West of Scotland Breast Screening Service, said: “We would like to apologise to any women who have been inconvenienced by the move of the South West of Scotland Breast Screening Unit within Newton Stewart. We wrote to a number of women in the area inviting them along for their screening appointment. However, due to an administrative error, the time we had allocated in Aldi’s car park was less than we had planned. We would like to thank Sainsburys for allowing us to site the unit within their car park.”