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Familiar faces . . . Familiar faces at Timaru's mammography unit, from left, Sue Lurajud, Sue Earnshaw, Solome Mair, (who has retired) Trish Farr, Michelle Johnston, Mary- Ann Hills and Carole Brand. The South Can terbury Mammography Trust has sold the unit to Pacific Radiology.

It will be business as usual, despite the sale of the mammography unit in Timaru.

The South Canterbury Mammography Trust has sold the unit to Pacific Radiology Group, in a bid to streamline the facility.

Pacific Radiology Canterbury managing director Dr Jeremy Sharr said the move would not interrupt services.

“Virtually” nothing would change from a client perspective.

It would continue to deliver breast screening and diagnostic services to women enrolled in the national breast screening programme and to other women.

Pacific Radiology Canterbury provides mammography services throughout much of New Zealand.

Its core business is diagnostic imaging.

Dr Sharr said the South Canterbury unit’s location, on the corner of Queen and High Sts, would remain the same and although the same friendly service would be provided, one staff member was not taking up a new contract.

The original members of the trust, established in 1989, were Gavin Wilton, Elizabeth Munn, Jeannie Harrison, Karen Talbot, Mary McSherry and Warwick McSherry.

Managing trustee Carole Brand said if it had not been for those trust members and their supporters, the mammography unit would not have been set up in Timaru.

“Without this purpose-built unit it is conceivable that local women could still be visiting a mobile screening unit for their BreastScreen Aotearoa scans and travelling to Christchurch for diagnosis.”

Instead, radiologists travel from Christchurch to assist the service on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays – something they have done for at least 20 years.

“That relationship will continue,” Dr Sharr said.

He said the only noticeable change could be rebranding.

The trust, which will retain the significant funds accumulated over the years, will continue to own the premises, which will be leased by Pacific Radiology Group.

Trustees have not yet decided how trust funds will be spent.

“Their first intention is for the trust to continue to support the unit and to support women with breast cancer.”

Dr Sharr said Pacific Radiology was delighted to carry on the work of the trust and assured local women they could look forward to dealing with familiar faces and receiving the same great service.