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Inevitably, the NHS has had many difficult decisions to make since COVID 19 sent us into national lockdown. These difficult decisions continue as the country remains in such uncertain times. With the winter months just around the corner and the new lockdown tiers implemented the ongoing disruption to our access to healthcare looks to continue.

Many patients, suffering from a breadth of illnesses have encountered delays in treatments, missed out on scans, tests, operations and therapies to allow the NHS to prepare and deal with patients suffering with COVID-19.

In July, Cancer Research UK reported that 1 in 3 cancer patients confirmed their treatment had been impacted due to the effects COVID-19 had on the health system. 4 in 10 people had reported their tests had been affected, including tests to find whether cancer had spread or returned.

How do the NHS balance these decisions? Who should have priority and how do we determine which treatments should continue and which should be paused to make way for capacity to deal with the pandemic when the healthcare professionals don’t fully understand the impact of the virus and research continues on a daily basis? As time passes and more is learnt about COVID-19 the balance will become easier but the impact is unfortunately something that will continue for months to come.

Decisions made have had a profound effect on individuals lives and their families and there is no doubt treatment, tests and appointments need to get back on track as quickly as possible to help to reduce the ever increasing backlog.

If you or a loved one has missed treatment for an illness, it has been delayed or it hasn’t started and you think this has had or will have an impact on the recovery or if you believe this has led to a loss of life, please contact our Clinical Negligence team by calling 01484 821 500, or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch at a convenient time for you.