Cancer patients say coronavirus has impacted treatment

Cancer Research UK has reported that one in three cancer patients said their treatment has been impacted by the effects of coronavirus on the health system.

Equating to hundreds of thousands of people experiencing cancellations, delays and changes to their treatment across the UK, Cancer Research UK estimates that approximately 38,000 fewer treatments have taken place since lockdown began – adding to a growing backlog.

According to the charity’s survey, 42 per cent of patients also said their tests, including those to find out whether their cancer had spread or returned, had been affected. Around 70 per cent of people who had delays or cancellations to cancer testing and treatment also reported feeling more frustrated and anxious.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive said: “Covid-19 has undoubtedly put a huge strain on people affected by cancer and has had an extraordinary impact on their care and well-being. We’ve been hearing many of these stories over the past few months."

Some cancer services have started to recover since this survey was carried out in May, with more patients being referred to hospital with suspected cancer symptoms and cervical screening restarting in many cases. However, Cancer Research UK is worried that treatment, diagnosis, and screening aren’t getting back on track fast enough – and the backlog is mounting.

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.