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Is the NHS crumbling?

The NHS faces relentless strains, but is it crumbling?

We continue to hear on the news that diagnosis and treatment times are falling behind with more and more claims against the NHS being made by patients and their families.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment is in dire straits and our A&E’s are not performing. We struggle to see our GPs who are under constant pressure with time to see patients.

Only half of people with cancer have been diagnosed in early stages.

NHS England figures show that only around half of cancer patients are diagnosed in early stage.

And, nearly a quarter of cancer patients are waiting longer than they should to start treatment. The two month target has been missed for more than three years!

In the last 5 years, the target of starting cancer treatment has only been met three times, leaving 130,000 people having to wait for life-saving treatment.

Melanie Lidstone-Land, head of Medical Negligence at Swain & Co Solicitors comments,

“Being diagnosed with cancer can be a frightening, painful and long journey. So, when you are diagnosed you do not want to have to wait for treatment beyond the target dates. This creates so much additional worry for the patient and their family.  I have personal experience of this and I listen to the experiences of my clients and their families every day.”

A&E performance drops to worst level

Only 85% of patients presenting at A&E were seen within the 4 hour target in February.

Patricia Marquis from the Royal College of Nursing says,

“What’s worrying about all the figures is that they come at a point when we haven’t yet had severe weather in England, and flu and norovirus levels are low.”

The NHS crisis doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Statistics versus real people

The damning statistics are just that. They don’t tell you the pain and suffering real people are experiencing as a result.

Lisa Pammen was only diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer after ending up in A&E.

She’d spent 18 months suffering stomach pains. But, her cancer was not detected despite several doctors appointments and hospital visits.

When finally diagnosed, the cancer had spread to her ovaries and abdomen.

Then, it took three months to start treatment.

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