Guest post by Ed Smith
It’s safe to say that the coronavirus outbreak has shaken the world. With many countries on their knees with infections and hospitalisations, the healthcare sector has really felt the impact. With many doctors, nurses and clinicians mainly focussed on dealing the COVID-19 infections and recoveries, has this had a knock on effect with other patients? And has it had a negative impact on the healthcare professionals themselves?
Have other illnesses gone unnoticed?
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS issued guidance to protect GP services and patients, bringing huge changes to the way that many practices operate. These changes included assessing patients via the telephone or via online forms, and only seeing patients face-to-face when necessary. The latest NHS digital data showed a 30% reduction in the overall number of GP appointments in March, but did this fall mean many illnesses went untreated or undiagnosed?
With many people now fearful of attending doctor and hospital appointments, there is a rising concern that diseases such as cancer and other serious illnesses are going unnoticed and therefore undiagnosed, causing those with symptoms to become incredibly sick.
Our overworked NHS force
It’s been reported that those working for the NHS will potentially require PTSD support once the pandemic begins to subside. And while this may be the case, many others are also suffering because of the mounting burnout among doctors, nurses and clinicians.
While it may not be the fault of those working on the frontline, those who are in need of medical treatment for other issues need to be mindful that patient safety is potentially at risk at the moment. This alarming statement in itself, may mean that there could be a sharp increase in the number of medical negligence cases as a result.
Medical negligence cases are on the rise
Those areas in the UK that have been hit hard by COVID-19, are susceptible to an increased number of medical negligence claims against medical practitioners. Whether this is for missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis or for an illness or disease that has gone untreated, there is definitely even more pressure on our national health service.
If you feel like you have a claim, it’s important to not only get the correct medical treatment, but to also speak to medical negligence solicitors to see if you have a solid case. Should you win this could help you with private treatment, help at home, financial compensation and so much more.
We know times are hard, but your health is one of the most important things there is.