NHS hospitals treat HALF the cancer patients they usually would

NHS hospitals are treating less than HALF the cancer patients they usually would as coronavirus surge overwhelms hospitals

  • Around 10,000 fewer non-Covid patients in hospitals compared with December
  • Three times as many frontline health workers are off sick compared to last year
  • More than 3,800 cancer patients have been waiting over 62 days for treatment  

NHS hospitals are treating less than half the cancer patients they usually would as a surge in coronavirus cases overwhelms hospitals.

Figures shared today non-Covid patient numbers have dropped by 10,000 in less than a month – while huge numbers of staff are also off sick.

Yesterday Britain announced 59,937 new cases of Covid-19 – with rising demand putting added pressure on hospitals across the country, leaving them with little option but to close other services.

More than 3,800 cancer patients in London have waited more than two months for their first treatment, as the number of non-Covid patients in Britain’s hospitals fell by 10,000 in less than a month, new figures reveal

Dr Tom Dolphin from the British Medical Association, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Hospitals are trying to increase capacity by reducing elective work to almost nothing but it feels that won’t be enough.’

NHS England’s cancer resilience plan states London hospitals need to treat more than 500 cancer patients each week.

As of this week, only 122 cancer cases were treated in NHS hospitals, with another 101 attending private hospitals.

The Sunday Telegraph also revealed there were 3,840 cancer patients in London that have waiting more than two months for their first treatment. 

As of January 5, there were 56,126 non-Covid patients in general and acute beds, compared to 19,878 patients with the virus.

In December there were 65,324 patients without coronavirus in Britain’s hospitals and 11,334 with Covid. 

Across the country, there are 32,294 patients in hospital with Covid as of Friday.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: ‘Clearly, the NHS isn’t able to provide the same level of non-urgent and non-Covid care that it has been able to provide at other points. 

‘When you’ve got more than 29,000 beds in England occupied by Covid patients you can’t use them for other purposes. So what trusts are doing is prioritising on the basis of clinical need.’

It comes as shocking figures revealed 46,000 NHS staff are off sick with coronavirus, according to the Doctor’s Association.

Figures also reveal three times as many frontline health workers are currently off sick compared to the average for this time of year.  

As Britain’s death toll continues to climb, experts are calling for an even tougher lockdown to combat the rapidly-spreading new variant while the Government issued a new campaign blitz to scare people into obeying lockdown rules. 

England is now in its toughest and longest lockdown since last spring and may not emerge from it until all the most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated against Covid-19. 

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has appeared in adverts urging Britons to ‘act like you’ve got’ coronavirus to ‘protect the NHS and save lives’.  

Two terrifying new posters also show a patient dying in hospital and a healthcare worker wearing full PPE, warning Britons: ‘If you go out, you can spread it. People will die.’

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