Penny's Hill Practice

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Cancer referrals during the Coronavirus pandemic

The global Coronavirus pandemic has put a great strain on healthcare resources, both in the UK and around the world. In the UK, there has been a strain on the resources available to hospitals and as such, the UK Government and NHS England allowed hospitals to postpone non-urgent treatment.

We at Penny’s Hill Practice continue to support our colleagues in hospitals as much as we can however we are hopeful that they will be able to start seeing “non-urgent” cases again as soon as possible especially as the current thoughts are that we have, in the UK, passed the peak and are now in a “flattened curve”.

Hospitals have not been allowed to postpone urgent treatment. We have continued to see patients at the surgery we believe might have cancer from the symptoms they have or from the findings on tests. The NHS has a “fast-track” system in place for such patients- this means the hospital has 2 weeks from the time we refer you to them in which to see you. We know that by prioritising these appointments, patients who do have cancer, can be diagnosed quicker and have a higher chance of treating this successfully.

If we have referred you to a hospital with suspected cancer, they still have 2 weeks in which to see you, even with the global Coronavirus pandemic. If you have not heard from the hospital within a week, please let us know as soon as possible.

If the hospital contact you and explain they have cancelled your appointment for a suspected cancer referral, please let us know immediately as we have to report these breaches to the CCG and local medical teams and we have to make an immediate referral back to the hospital so they will see you as we have asked them to.

27 April 2020