The letter, hand delivered to 10 Downing Street, warns that “lives are being put at risk” and that motion is required instantly. It comes as new figures present as many as one in six – 10 million – individuals will likely be on the NHS waiting record by the tip of the yr. The letter, signed by ten specialists, together with most cancers docs, affected person security specialists, QCs and medical negligence legal professionals, states: “We are more and more involved concerning the affect, together with avoidable hurt and loss of life brought about by the persevering with unavailability of pressing diagnostics and remedy for hundreds of non-COVID sufferers.
“The backlog of such cases is now significant and worsening. We implore the central and devolved Governments of the UK to take urgent strategic action, including in co-ordination and co-operation with each other, to prevent this becoming a second and perhaps even more serious health catastrophe arising from the pandemic in the UK.”
The letter, despatched to the ministers of all of the 4 devolved governments, provides: “The lack of prognosis and remedy of non-COVID sufferers is placing many hundreds of lives in danger, with out them having any say during which dangers they might somewhat take as between their established situation and publicity to the coronavirus.
“It can also be denying devoted well being professionals the chance of doing what they got here into their occupation to do.
“Urgent care will be supplied safely with good planning, sufficient protecting gear for employees, and applicable safeguards in place, to guard the wellbeing of each sufferers and workers, lots of whom are already exhausted from coping with the pandemic.
“Some remoted components of the NHS are already exhibiting how this may be carried out, however it’s nowhere close to sufficient.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“We believe there is a legal duty, but more importantly, a moral duty, upon the Government to ensure all patients have access to the urgent diagnostics and medical treatment they need.”
One signatory, Peter Walsh of the affected person security charity Action towards Medical Accidents added: “Whilst covid-19 has resulted in over 40,000 tragedies, we’re in danger from a second disaster affecting non-covid sufferers who don’t obtain the diagnostics or remedy they want, due to unavailability of service because of the pandemic. Tens of hundreds of lives may very well be misplaced in consequence and lots of of those are avoidable.
“Nowhere is the need more apparent than in cancer services, but cardiac services, stroke services and neurology amongst others are also a grave concern.”
Another signatory, Mary Smith, Associate Legal Director at Novum Law, stated: “We have a growing number of cases in which patients have not had urgent diagnostics or treatment or including cancer treatment, urgent neurological surgery, cancer scans. These won’t wait and people will either die or suffer health problems, but some patients cannot get access to hospital services and beds.”
One in six individuals will likely be on the NHS waiting record by the tip of the yr
Professor Karol Sikora, former advisor to the World Health Organisation on most cancers care, additionally signed the letter.
He stated: “We need to get rid of the fear and get people coming back to hospital. And we also have to get the system back into action. The NHS is like a battleship. It changed course, but it is having awful trouble changing back. And the idea of stopping services in the wait for a second wave – which other countries have not experienced – will mean a whole load of cancer and heart patients are thrown under the bus.”
Professor Gordon Wishart, who’s finishing up analysis into present NHS providers, discovered one in six individuals in England are more likely to be waiting for NHS remedy by autumn on account of Covid-19 forcing hospitals to run at 50-60 % capability.
He stated as many as 10 million individuals will likely be on waiting lists for NHS remedy earlier than the tip of the yr. In addition solely 15-20 % of typical ranges of surgical procedure was carried out throughout lockdown.
The letter was additionally signed by barrister Theo Huckle QC, Professor John Fairclough of Swansea and Cardiff Met Universities, Nick Brown of Doughty Street Chambers and Helen Hughes, Chief Executive, Patient Safety Learning.
Cases which have come to the eye of the signatories embrace Sherwin Hall, 27, a father of 1 from Leeds, who made 13 visits to hospital throughout the Covid-19 lockdown earlier than getting a most cancers prognosis for the ache in his groin.
He stated of his case: “I’m very offended on the manner I’ve been handled attributable to Covid-19 and the delay on my most cancers remedy and now I’m preventing for my life.
“I have an eight-week-old baby that I might not be able to see soon – it just devastates me.”
The supply driver started in search of care days earlier than the lockdown started on 23 March.
He was informed he couldn’t have a significant diagnostic MRI scan due to the Covid-19 emergency. He lastly received a scan in June which revealed a quick rising tumour measuring 14cm in his pelvis and 30 small tumours in his lungs which he believes developed throughout the time he couldn’t get a scan.