Cancer Delay Negligence: NHS facing ‘biggest ever crisis’ due to delays and growing backlog
December 14, 2021
According to recent reports, The NHS is facing the “biggest cancer catastrophe ever to hit it” according to a leading oncologist who said a new report reveals a devastating picture of cancer services on “life-support” with a deadly regional cancer lottery of waiting times and a huge patient backlog. This cancer delay negligence may lead to catastrophic consequences.
Estimated “missing” urgent referrals for suspected cancer during the pandemic could be as high as 740,000 while between 35,000 and 60,000 cancer patients missed their first treatment since the start of the pandemic, the National Audit Office (NAO) report on NHS backlogs and waiting times in England found.
By June 2021, NHS cancer services had recovered to pre-pandemic levels. However, since the start of the pandemic and up to September this year, patients with an urgent GP referral for cancer were more likely to be delayed – 26 per cent had to wait more than 62 days for treatment to start.
The Midlands is the worst hit region of England with 57 per cent of patients in Birmingham and Solihull waiting more than 62 days. Some 51 per cent waited more than 62 days in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland with 43 per cent in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Cancer Delay Negligence
Cancer delay negligence can take several forms including cancer misdiagnosis and delayed cancer diagnosis. Both instances of clinical neglect could lead to a patient requiring a more aggressive type of treatment. Certainly, more than would have been necessary if they identify the disease earlier. It can also shorten their life expectancy. No one wants bad news about their future due to someone else’s mistake.
Examples of cancer delay negligence include:
- Not requesting scans or other tests when symptoms indicate cancer could be present
- Misinterpreting scans, smears, or different test results
- Losing test results and delaying obtaining new samples
- Incorrect or inappropriate treatment, including issues with chemotherapy and other medication
Oncology negligence can also extend to the mismanagement of a patient’s treatment. That includes prescribing or dispensing medication incorrectly, not informing a patient about types of treatment available, and the benefits and risks that go with each.
There are many reasons for delays in diagnosis, and they can happen at any stage; from you presenting the symptoms through to the eventual correct diagnosis. Some of the most common reasons for delays in diagnosis include:
- Failing to spot symptoms
- Ignoring symptoms
- Failing to test patients
- Incorrect or misread test results
- Failing to refer patients for further tests
If any of these happen to you, then the results can be devastating. Delays in diagnosis can cause conditions to become harder to treat, or in the worst cases, conditions can be incurable.
How We Can Help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with medical negligence claims. This includes cancer delay negligence claims. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly experts.