According to a recent report, The NHS is currently facing the ‘largest ever crisis’ as a result of delays and growing backlogs by a leading oncologist. The oncologist has revealed that this current report shows the destructive figure of cancer patients on life support. It further reveals the endless waiting times coupled with an enormous patient backlog.
Negligence and delay in cancer services may lead to total chaos and severe consequences. The report further shows the alarming estimated number of ‘misplaced’ urgent referrals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The figure is suspected to increase during this period of uncertainty and could reach up to 740,000.
However, the rate of cancer patients who failed to take their first treatment since the onset of the global lockdown is estimated to be between 35,000 and 60,000. This figure has been reported by the National Audit Office on NHS backlogs and waiting times in England.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 restrictions until September 2021, cancer patients with urgent referrals experienced delays, some patients had to wait for over sixty-two days or more than 2 months to start treatment. NHS cancer services have since recovered to pre-pandemic phase by June same year.
Across the UK and England, the pandemic hit hard in some regions while delay was minimal in other parts. Beginning with the least, about 43% of patients in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Solihull recorded 57%. In Leicestershire, Rutland, and Leicester about 51% of cancer patients had to wait for treatment for more than 62 days. The highest hit region of England is the Midlands.
Cancer Delay Negligence In The National Health Service
Cancer is a critical condition and more patients can lose their lives if medical providers don’t act fast. Covid-19 restrictions led to an abrupt spike in waiting times, which brought about backlogs in the national health service. The NHS was close to full capacity before the pandemic hit causing an increase in the number of patients waiting for treatment.
Cancer delay negligence can occur in many ways including delays in prognosis or misdiagnosis. Medical negligence and delays can lead to more extensive care for affected patients, which could have been avoided if diagnosed early. Worse off neglect in cancer treatment could reduce a patient’s life expectancy.
A large number of cancer negligence lawsuits are associated with delays in prognosis, treatment and indecision from the hospital management. Ignoring patients’ symptoms can be catastrophic, as this may worsen existing conditions and make it difficult to treat. Some common Types Of Cancer Delay Negligence may result from the following clinical mistakes:
- Misplacing Lab Results.
- Misinterpretation of Scans and lab results.
- Incorrect Medication.
- Improper chemotherapy Treatment.
- Delay in getting patients samples for further tests.
- Dispensing the wrong prescription.
- Lack of informed consent.
- Delay in diagnosis: This can occur in several ways from the start of your treatment to the final correct diagnosis and can happen due to failure to identify symptoms or refer patients for further scans and tests.
Elective Recovery And The Post-Pandemic Plan
Extra funding has been made available by the government to recover elective care in the NHS. In England, they plan to provide an extra £8bn within 2022 to 2025 to restore elective care. It is expected to be a 10% increase, more than bigger than the pre-pandemic plan.
However, the National Audit Office (NAO) predicts that by 2025, the waiting list for elective care may reach twelve million. According to the health foundation, the report has brought about a cold dose of reality with the problems facing the NHS.
They have warned that the enormous waiting list may still increase before implementing the government NHS recovery plan. However, this plan should gradually bring the waiting list down to improve elective care. There has to be a balance, as any more interruptions will risk bringing the waiting list much higher.
In this times of uncertainty, the government’s NHS recovery plan needs to support the overall well-being of patients who wait longer for treatment and care. It also needs to be innovative and target driven by improving the workforce who have been exhausted from the aftermath of the pandemic.
The pandemic hit some areas harder and so the process of recovery won’t be the same for all regions. Elective recovery care is not just about NHS hospitals. Recovery is more about finding better ways to promote primary health care services.
How Can We Assist?
The failure to treat or diagnose cancer quickly and correctly can affect a patient’s general prognosis. At MND, we work with a team of specialists who deal in cancer delay negligence claims. With so many years of experience under their belt they are willing to look into your case. Get in touch with us today.