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Has coronavirus affected imaging for serious illness?

Has coronavirus affected imaging for serious illness?

We are currently bombarded with news about the effect of Coronavirus on the NHS, the pressure on staff, pressure on resources and the lack of PPE.  We have not heard quite so much about the effect that it may have on more fundamental services such as imaging.

Radiologists are predicting that there will be more demand for services as public access to Hospitals increases with more GP’s referring for diagnostic imaging.

The president of the Royal College of Radiologists has warned that the service is underfunded and may not cope with the increased demand.   They are concerned that the cleaning requirements because of coronavirus would reduce capacity for a service that has been said to already be “woefully underfunded and under-resourced”.

The concern is, of course, that if imaging services were in crisis before the coronavirus pandemic, then things may be ever worse as we move towards “normality”.

The statistics are frightening.

In April 2020 Cancer Research, according to the BBC, said that roughly 2,700 fewer people were being diagnosed every week. The concern is that even with more scanning equipment being available to the NHS, demand for the service will still outstrip capacity.

It is thought that it will take 30-45 minutes to deep clean scanners after Covid-19 patients have used them and waiting times are thought to be increased because of social distancing rules. This leads to concerns that there will be delays in diagnosis and perhaps loss of opportunity for a cure of cancer or other serious illness.

At Swain & Co, our expert Clinical Negligence team regularly advise and represent patients who have experienced significant delays in diagnosis of serious illness including cancer.  We also act for the families who have lost loved ones due to such delays.  These are complex and detailed claims which our team handles with care, expertise and tenacity.

If you or a loved one have experienced delay or inadequate medical care please contact our team for a free, no obligation discussion today.

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