ER Editor: A reminder that today, Thursday November 5th, the UK enters its second lockdown.
NHS Crisis: 35,000+ ‘Excess’ Cancer Deaths Due To COVID19 Policies
Medical industry experts are warning that Britain’s National Health Service is headed for more than 35,000 excess cancer deaths due to postponed and canceled appointments/treatments, thanks to the government’s policies on COVID19.
The Clinical Services Journal (CSJ) (November 03, 2020) reports that while some elective care procedures are being resumed, many already had lengthy waiting lists even before the pandemic hit and they are growing rapidly.
The journal has identified that clinicians and service providers are still coming to terms with the impending crisis and speaks of “stark consequences” due the enormous backlog of untreated patients told to go home and wait it out while the country goes back to a second national lockdown this week over rising coronavirus cases (which are not translating into any abnormal rise in excess deaths).
Britain’s Public Health Service Showed 530,000 Fewer Elective Admissions In April, According To NHS CEO Sir Simon Stevens.
Brian King, writing for CSJ, expresses a growing concern felt by many in the health care sector that even if the NHS were to begin to fully resume elective care today, waiting lists will still be at least doubled from 4.2 million to approximately 10 million by Christmas.
It is entirely probable that number will likely haemorrhage even further as England enters its second full scale lockdown on Thursday, which ministers say may be extended beyond the one-month proposed limit.
The Clinical Services Journal paints a distressing picture for anyone left high and dry, not knowing when they may be screened or be admitted for treatment. It tells us:
“Further, a postponement of some services has meant delays in diagnosis and treatment for life-limiting conditions. Even a delay of a few months can result in significant complications or disease progression for some patients. DATA-CAN, a Health Data Research Hub, has suggested the pandemic could lead to 35,000 ‘excess’ cancer deaths, with a backlog in screenings resulting in missed or delayed diagnosis.”
The NHS Faces A Double Whammy: Even When Elective Procedures And Screenings Do Resume, Another Challenge Lies In Capacity.
Many hospitals are reporting significantly reduced capacity, as a result of staff shortages and increased infection control measures.
NHS CEO, Sir Simon Stevens, knows he faces a monumental headache because worried patients with life-threatening condition such as cancer cannot be put on hold. Hundreds of thousands will have an agonising and prolonged wait against a merciless disease that could take them beyond the limits of medical intervention.
Brian King laments:
“There are clear challenges on the horizon for the NHS. It will take a monumental effort for elective care systems to return to prepandemic levels, and possibly even a complete reimagining of some services.”
For pragmatists, the only solution is a total reassessment of the role private suppliers play. Ministers may have to bite the bullet and implement a new public-private partnership as the way to steer the country out of the next likely pandemic – that of excess cancer deaths! (ER: Which is surely the end goal, to privatize the system.)
Read more at www.clinicalservicesjournal.com
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