Cancer care in England failing to improve?
Failure to diagnose cancer in its’ early stages continues to cause potentially unnecessary deaths.
It has recently been reported that England has failed to close the gap on the best-performing nations in relation to survival rates.
The Health Foundation undertook a review of the government's record between 1995 and 2015 and concluded that despite four strategies setting ambitious goals, the NHS was still lagging behind the best.
It said if services were improved, 10,000 lives could be saved each year.
Early diagnosis is the key.
Prof Sir Mike Richards, a former government cancer Tsar who led the review, warned patients were still finding it too difficult to get access to the tests and scans.
He said the number of missed opportunities to save lives was the equivalent of a "jumbo jet of people falling from the sky every two weeks".
How is this continuing to happen when the Prime Minister has recently pledged to commit more financial resources to Cancer research, diagnosis and care?
The statistics show that survival rates are improving but not in line with other countries.
It is said that the problem begins in our GP surgeries with GPs under pressure not to refer too many patients. Then, when you do get referred the NHS did not have enough equipment or staff to carry out all the tests and scans it ideally should.
As a result of initiatives for cancer care pathways, there has been a rise in referrals but this has meant that the system is finding it hard to cope leading to long waiting times and the NHS struggling to meet its targets.
More initiatives will be planned and raising awareness with the public should help we are told but is the reality of that just that this will lead to more demand on the services?
It cannot be right that this continues to be such an issue and that the UK is falling behind in terms of diagnosis and survival rates.
Melanie Lidstone-Land and the Clinical Negligence team at Swain & Co regularly act for people who have received a late diagnosis of Cancer or other life limiting illness as a result of failures to refer, diagnose or treat in a reasonable time. They also act for the families of those patients who have died as a result of such failings
"A diagnosis of Cancer strikes fear in the heart of patients and their families. Part of the reason for that is they do not trust the NHS to provide the diagnostic tests within a reasonable time frame which would mean their survival is optimised. I see too often that the cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage or too late for survival and it is heart breaking. It is unnecessary in so many cases and it is vitally important, when that happens, that patients and their families are able to access legal advice and assistance."
Melanie Lidstone-Land and the Clinical Negligence team at Swain & Co Solicitors regularly win compensation for their clients who have experienced substandard treatment or a failure to provide treatment. If you, a family member or a friend have experienced problems regarding substandard medical treatment contact our team today on 02392 483 322.
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