Don’t delay cancer checks if you have concerns, urges new NHS campaign | UK News


New TV adverts are encouraging people to get checked for cancer as soon as possible if they have any concerns.

The NHS campaign aims to change attitudes after research found nearly a third of patients would delay seeing a GP because they’re worried about bad news or wasting doctors’ time.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the 2,000 people said dying was their biggest fear when it came to cancer, while 21% would delay in the hope their concerns would disappear first.

A similar campaign in March saw a 17-fold increase in people using the NHS website for support compared with the month before.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said it was “vital” people get checked quickly if they think they have symptoms of something serious.

“The most important thing is that people come forward when they have health concerns,” she said.

“Our message is loud and clear – people must not worry about coming forward for care and being a burden on the NHS, it is vital that people get checked as soon as they can – the earlier we see you, the sooner we can treat you.”

The NHS said more than a million potentially life-saving tests had been done at “one-stop shops” in England since July 2021.

More than 90 centres have been offering services such as MRI and CT scans while hospitals recover from the strain of the pandemic.

Boris Johnson called it a “pivotal milestone in the biggest catch-up programme in NHS history”.

“The Health and Social Care Levy – introduced to deliver the biggest catch up programme in NHS history and end spiralling social care costs – means the NHS is well-equipped to continue diagnosing and treating patients quickly, so we can tackle the COVID backlogs, reduce waiting lists and save lives,” he said.

The aim is now to roll out 160 of the centres across England and increase capacity to about nine million extra checks per year by 2025.

Nurses ‘tired, fed up, demoralised’

The apparent success of the imitative comes as the nurses’ union warned about inadequate staffing levels on shift and said more of them were quitting.

A survey of 20,000 staff by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) suggested only a quarter of shifts had the planned number of registered nurses on duty – a fall from 42% in 2020 and 45% five years ago.

Four out of five nurses who responded also said staffing on their last shift was not enough to meet all the needs of their patients.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said the 25,000 nurses who left the job last year was a “sharp rise” on the previous year.

“Nursing staff are being driven out by the current way of working – the shortage of staff and too often the poor culture,” she said.

“To those from government listening to my words – we have had enough. The patients and those we care for have had enough.

“We are tired, fed up, demoralised, and some of us are leaving the profession because we have lost hope.”


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