Almost half of the population in the UK have had their medical treatment delayed by the NHS since the pandemic started – and 45% have seen their condition get worse as a result.
New survey data commissioned by a leading UK medical negligence law firm questioned 2,000 nationally representative Brits to lift the lid on delays in medical care due to COVID-19.
Patient Claim Line uncovered that 28% of those who had NHS treatment scheduled since the pandemic have delayed their own treatment, and a further 28% are considering or planning to delay their own treatment.
Incidentally, half of those who delayed their own treatment have seen their condition worsen as a result.
The main reason Brits are delaying their own treatment is due to fears of catching Covid during medical appointments, with 53% of Brits sharing this concern. Similarly, many had delayed their treatment to avoid putting an additional strain on the NHS, with 52% of Brits citing this as another reason that they postponed their treatment.
It was also discovered that only 28% of Brits over the age of 55 were worried about catching Covid during medical treatment, whereas this was a reason that 42% of 18–24-year-olds would delay their medical care.
The data indicated that the North East is the region most concerned about putting a strain on the NHS, with 76% of North Eastern participants pushing back treatment on account of this.
Interestingly, just 39% of Londoners shared this concern and, when asked to rate how confident they are that they’ll get the medical treatment that they need this year, Londoners were the least worried that they would be affected – despite having the highest rate of infection in the country.
Regardless, it was almost unanimous that the majority of participants have gained respect for the NHS since COVID-19 began as nearly 80% confessed that they appreciate the NHS more than before the pandemic.
Patient Claim Line’s senior solicitor, Hannah Luscombe, and senior litigation executive, Kirsty Parkes, have released exclusive comments about your legal rights if general surgery or treatment is delayed due to the pandemic and who is eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
Explaining the importance of getting medical care when needed, Kirsty commented: ‘More and more patients are being added to waiting lists daily for “non-urgent” surgeries, for example, hip replacements; maxillofacial procedures; or non-urgent vascular or urological procedures. In the meantime, these patients are often experiencing severe levels of pain and discomfort and are unable to carry on with their daily lives as a result. In many of these cases, it is often the case that the sooner treatment is received, the better the chances are for long-term recovery.’
If your medical treatment has been delayed as a result of the pandemic and you have experienced unnecessary pain or suffering, then you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim. Find out more on the Patient Claim Line website.