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Missing urgent referrals

  • Published: Tuesday December 7, 2021
  • Category: Covid-Delay
  • Tags: delay-cancer-diagnosis,

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 enquiries@graystons.co.uk and we can arrange to call you.