Famous faces, including TV chefs Gordon Ramsay, Nadiya Hussein, and actress Emma Thompson are backing a major new campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments. This follows new research which found that at the moment, nearly half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all.
A fifth (22%) would not want to be a burden on the health service while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help. More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak. Delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers however.
People without Covid can safely access NHS services
England’s top GP says that people should not hesitate to get help and that waiting could have serious consequences for patients. Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care in England said: Alongside treating 110,000 people with coronavirus, NHS staff have gone to great lengths to make sure that people who do not have Covid can safely access services. “So whether you or a loved one has a routine appointment, or a potential cancer symptom, our message is clear – you are not a burden, we are here to safely care for you so please don’t delay – Help Us Help You and come forward as you usually would.
“You are not a burden, we are here to safely care for you so please don’t delay – Help Us Help You and come forward as you usually would”
“Cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught at an earlier stage and so coming forward for a check could save your life.” NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic. These measures include Covid protected cancer surgery hubs, a Covid friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital and chemotherapy being delivered in more convenient locations.
Symptoms of cancer include:
- Changes in bowel habits, including blood in your poo
- Unexplained weight loss
- A lump
- Persistent bloating
- Pain that does not go away
We’re still here and we can see you safely
TV chef Gordon Ramsay said “As we head into winter, it’s really important that we remember that despite Covid-19, the NHS can still see us safely. I was really pleased to help reassure the public and remind them that the NHS is here for them when they need it.”
Lockdown heroes including 100 year old Dabirul Choudhury with his Ramadan walk, Annemarie Plas who started Clap for Carers, and Ayesha Pakravan-Ovey who delivered hundreds of meals to those in isolation, will all join the NHS plea to say letting the NHS help you is one of the best ways of supporting the health service.
“Covid-19 has been hugely challenging for everyone and while it’s easy to understand why people are fearful about seeking medical advice and want to avoid being a burden, it’s so important that people come to see us when they need us. If you’re pregnant, please go to your antenatal appointment and contact us if you’re worried about your health or your baby’s health. And if you’ve spotted something you think might be cancer, please contact your GP. We’re still here and we can see you safely.” Dr Amir Khan