A NEW guide to breast cancer services highlights the excellent standards of care and treatment in Huddersfield and Halifax.

The Breast Cancer Care charity, which provides free information, help and emotional support for anyone affected by the illness, has published Your Guide to Breast Cancer Services 2005.

It reveals some impressive statistics from the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.

The trust treats the third highest number of patients in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 11,054 seen each year.

The trust also has one of the lowest waiting times for referral, with the average wait being 30 days.

Many hospitals in the region have a much longer waiting time and several did not give a figure.

The guide aims to help people affected by breast cancer make informed choices about treatment and support.

The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust offers a wide range of services, from a number of on-site clinics as well as treatment, counselling and support groups.

A trust spokesman said: "The trust is pleased the guide has confirmed the excellent standards of care and treatment at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and the Calderdale Royal breast clinics.

"Waiting times from referral by a GP to treatment are among the shortest in the country, despite increasing numbers of patients attending the clinics.

"The multi-disciplinary team works extremely effectively to diagnose, treat and support patients."

Ian Smith, professor of cancer medicine at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, said: "This guide will contribute to improved communications between people affected by breast cancer and the professionals responsible for their care."

The guide will be supplied to every breast cancer unit and clinic in the UK, so people can access it easily. The information can also be viewed on the website www.breastcancercare.org.uk/yourguide2005

Anyone with breast cancer or breast health concerns can get free, confidential support and information from the charity's helpline on 0808 800 6000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm) or by visiting www.breastcancercare.org.uk