PATIENTS have expressed their anger over a ban on men entering a breast screening clinic waiting room.

They say is it stopping them comforting their partners and friends.

Liam Hackett, chief executive of anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label, was not allowed to enter the reception area of the screening clinic last month to support his friend Sue Jones, who had a scan booked at the Park Centre for Breast Care in Brighton.

Ms Jones, 55, from Brighton, made the appointment to have a mammogram at the clinic after discovering a lump in her left breast and wanted Mr Hackett, also from the city, to accompany her.

The sign on the door to the waiting area reads: “Gentlemen are kindly asked to wait outside.”

Mr Hackett, 27, told The Argus: “It makes you question why they have that policy as it doesn’t put the patient first.

“The waiting area is completely separate from all the rooms where the scans are taking place. It is completely unnecessary.”

Ms Jones, deputy chief executive at Ditch The Label, said she became angry when she was made aware of the policy as she was already feeling nervous about the appointment.

She told The Argus: “It has nothing to do with any potential inconvenience that he experienced at not being allowed in, it was only ever about my experience and stress levels being impacted for no reason.

“At no point in the process before entering the scanning room are any females walking around topless or in a state of undress – there are no flimsy hospital gowns compromising anyone’s dignity.

“Women are covered at all times.”

The waiting area is also separate from the clinic’s changing rooms.

Mr Hackett has called for a consultation to be held with patients about the issue to see what they think, rather than having the decision not to take a man into the waiting room made on their behalf.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said the screening programme is exclusively for women.

A spokesman said: “Women remove their bras and all but a single layer of clothing in changing rooms.

“Women can then have to walk through the shared waiting area to have their mammogram in a separate room.

“To protect the privacy and dignity of our women patients who are not fully dressed, we ask men to wait outside this area for the 20 minutes it takes to complete the mammogram.”