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The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has had a monumental impact on the provision of medical services across the country. However, fears are mounting over the potential for increasing numbers of delayed diagnosis claims due to continued pressure on the hospitals.
A study published in the BMJ has shown that diagnoses of type 2 diabetes halved during the first three months of lockdown in the Salford, Greater Manchester area. In addition, diagnoses of circulatory disease fell by 43%. The number of first prescriptions of associated medicines also dropped dramatically during this time period. There was also a decrease in the number of observed and expected cancer diagnoses during the same period. The decrease in diagnosis of these conditions could be attributed to a number of factors such as the prioritisation of treatment for patients with COVID, a decrease in the number of patients attending hospital and GP appointments and a potential decrease in availability of these appointments.
NHS delayed diagnosis
In addition, recent data published by NHS England showed that there were increased waiting times throughout the NHS. It is unknown as to how many of these will lead to a delayed diagnosis compensation claim however, delayed diagnosis can have multiple consequences on patients.
Delayed diagnosis of conditions can mean that patients must have further, substantial treatment once they have a final diagnosis. This can increase distress for patients and their families, lead to increased hospital time and put a further strain on hospitals and medical professionals.
Combating delayed diagnosis
Unfortunately, as we draw into the winter months and the current increase in Coronavirus cases appears set to continue, it is likely that there may be a further strain on the NHS services and lead to further delayed diagnosis of conditions. It therefore remains important that GP practices and routine appointments carry on as much as possible in order to stand the best chance of diagnosing certain conditions in a prompt manner. Whilst it is unknown as to how many of the delays resulted in delayed diagnosis compensation, however hopefully by carrying on with routine appointments the impact can be minimised.
Specialist delayed diagnosis solicitors
If you or your family member have been affected by a delay in diagnosis, specialist medical negligence solicitors can help you with making a compensation claim. Contact Blackwater Law now for free initial advice and see if you could make a claim.