Have cancer problems checked during Coronavirus, urges the NHS chief
Friday 01 May 2020
People with concerns or suspected symptoms of cancer are being urged by the leading British oncologist to seek medical assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic, as new research reveals that nearly half of the public would be concerned with asking for advice during the current crisis.
NHS Clinical Director for Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, warned that waiting for help could have serious consequences for patients and even weigh more heavily on the national health system, pointing out that measures are in place to ensure that people can undergo cancer checks and treatments safely.
Prof Johnson's call follows a survey conducted on behalf of the NHS, according to which one in 10 people would not contact their family doctor even if they had a lump or new mole that didn't go away after a week. In addition, a third of respondents would worry about seeking help, with fears of contracting Coronavirus, giving it to their family or being a burden on the health service among the main reasons not to come forward.
Professor Johnson said: “My message is clear: people should seek help as always. NHS staff have made huge efforts to deal with Coronavirus, but are also working hard to ensure that patients can safely access essential services such as cancer checks and urgent surgery.
“From online consultations to launching cancer treatment centers, we are doing everything we can to make sure that patients get the life-saving care they need. We know that early cancer research offers us the best chance to cure it and ignoring potential problems can have serious consequences now or in the future. "
The message of prof. Johnson is following a sharp drop in cancer reports as patients do not contact their family doctor for health advice. Early diagnosis and intervention offer patients the best chance of survival and recovery, with more lives saved more people are subjected to specialist checks.
The increase in virtual GP appointments and online consultations means that people don't necessarily need to go to their local surgery for a checkup, while cancer-free hubs have been set up by Covid19 to provide surgery, together to private hospitals working in partnership with the NHS in an unprecedented agreement.
Meanwhile, NHS England has come up with plans for a "return to normal", which calls for strengthening non-Covid19 urgent services in the next six weeks. A letter to the local trustees and family doctors informs that urgent outpatient appointments should go on and routine surgery can be restarted, although the use of continuous consultations with digital general practitioners is encouraged.
Recommendations include restarting routine elective surgery, protecting and delivering surgery and cancer treatment, bringing cancer referrals and diagnostic appointments back to pre-Covid levels19 and providing heart attack and stroke patients they need.
The letter also outlines a reduction in traffic accidents and severe trauma during the blockade, with the possibility of a "rebound" in the emergency application when the restrictions are loosened. As a result, the nightingale and private hospitals will still be needed, in case there is another increase in the demand for beds.
An important public information campaign was launched last month that encourages people to contact their family doctor or 111 if they need urgent care and to go to the hospital if they are advised to do so. In the meantime, having the right health insurance can speed up access to tests, diagnosis and treatment as the NHS waiting lists recover and return to pre-coronavirus levels.
Many of our partners have increased the health insurance benefits available during Coronavirus for existing and new policyholders, including more cash benefits if you have to stay in hospital and greater access to support such as online counseling. And, as with many diseases, staying active can help reduce the risk of coronavirus, so find out more in our guide.
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