As reported by the METRO, the National Audit Office (NAO) estimated that in England there were between 240,000 and 740,000 ‘missing’ urgent GP referrals for suspected cancer during the Covid-19 Pandemic and up to September 2021.

The NAO also states there were between 7.6 million and 9.1 million ‘missing’ referrals for elective care over the same time.

It is unclear as to whether they are missed because of a failure to make a referral, whether it was not possible to make a referral due to the pandemic or because patients were too anxious to attend any appointments due to the pandemic. For the patients that are missing from a waiting list for any reason, a plan needs to be put in place to be treated and that plan is not currently clear.

It is unknown how quickly the NHS will go back to normal; this creates uncertainty on how many patients will return to their GP after being unable to get an appointment during the pandemic, causing further concerns on how this wait has impacted their health.

It is estimated that waiting lists will be even longer by 2025 which increases NHS activity, potentially causing longer delays. This can result in more people having a later diagnosis, poorer care and a decrease in chances of survival.

If you have concerns that you or a family member have experienced a delay in any medical treatment and an injury has been suffered as a direct consequence, we may be able to investigate a potential claim for you, please contact Graystons Solicitors on 0151 645 0055.  Alternatively, you can email and we can arrange to call you.


Recent headlines have indicted, “Substantial increases in the number of avoidable cancer deaths in England are to be expected as a result of diagnostic delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Urgent policy interventions are necessary, particularly the need to manage the backlog within routine diagnostic services to mitigate the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer.” The Lancet.

 The rhetoric of ‘Stay Home and Save the NHS’ along with the difficulty many patients have experienced in getting face to face appointments with their GP has, inevitably, led to a failure in early referrals for suspected cancer and delays in cancer treatment.

 Of course, we were living in a time of uncertainty, however reports are now highlighting the concerning and devastating impact the pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions have had upon Non-Covid healthcare concerns, specifically cancer patients.

If you feel that you, family member or friend has suffered a delay in diagnosing cancer, or receiving treatment, please contact one of our specialist lawyers to discuss your concerns free of charge.  We can also advise you of your potential funding options and whether you may be offered a ‘no win no fee’ agreement.



Less than half of the expected number of operations have gone ahead on the NHS since Jan 2020. The NHS Confederation has warned that there is a hidden backlog of people waiting for treatment as there have been potentially 6 million fewer GP referrals for routine treatments in England alone, as a result of the pandemic.

It is understandable that the unforeseen pandemic has had a knock-on effect onto NHS services and treatments, however 1000’s of people are still awaiting treatment or investigations for illnesses such as cancer. Treatment for some has come to a complete standstill leaving them in a state of constant pain and suffering.

If you believe that you have received substandard medical treatment from the NHS or private medical body, in England or Wales, and have suffered pain and suffering as a direct result of this treatment, please feel free to contact Graystons Solicitors. We have an experienced team who solely specialise in medical negligence.

Graystons may be able to act on a No Win No Fee Agreement for you, in which case if the claim is unsuccessful, you would not be liable for our charges. Call 0151 645 0055 for a non-obligation chat to see if we can assist you in investigating your case.