Beat The Backlog - The Cancer Timebomb We Must Tackle in 2023

2 March 2023  •  NHS
Beat The Backlog - The Cancer Timebomb We Must Tackle in 2023

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system has been significant. One area that has been particularly affected is cancer services. According to Cancer Research UK, around 3 million fewer people were screened for cancer between March 2020 and March 2021 compared to the previous year [1]. This has led to a backlog of undiagnosed and untreated cancer cases, which is set to have a significant impact on cancer patients in 2023 and beyond. 

The Impact of the Backlog 

The backlog in cancer services has led to delays in diagnosis and treatment for many cancer patients. According to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the backlog could lead to an additional 35,000 cancer deaths in the UK over the next five years. The report also found that patients with rarer cancers are more likely to experience delays in diagnosis and treatment, which could further worsen their prognosis. 

The Fall-Out from the Pandemic  

The fall-out from the pandemic has exacerbated the backlog in cancer services. Many patients missed or delayed seeking medical help due to fear of catching COVID-19, or because they did not want to put additional strain on the healthcare system. This has led to an increase in the number of cancer cases that are diagnosed at a later stage. According to Cancer Research UK, around 9,000 fewer patients started cancer treatment in the UK in 2020 compared to the previous year. This has resulted in an increase in the number of patients presenting with more advanced or metastatic cancer, which is more difficult to treat and has poorer outcomes. 

The Government's Response 

The government's response to the cancer timebomb has been multifaceted. In addition to investing in the recruitment and retention of skilled healthcare professionals, the government has committed to increasing funding for cancer services, expanding screening programs, and improving the availability of diagnostic testing. The government has also launched the "Help Us, Help You" campaign to encourage patients to seek medical help for symptoms and attend cancer screenings. The campaign aims to improve cancer survival rates by raising awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.  

By addressing the root causes of the backlog and investing in cancer services, the government hopes to tackle the cancer timebomb and improve outcomes for cancer patients across the UK. 

Addressing the Root Causes of the Backlog 

To address the root causes of the backlog, the government is investing in the recruitment and retention of skilled healthcare professionals. This is where Globe Locums comes in.  

As a leading healthcare recruitment agency, Globe Locums can provide a pool of skilled healthcare professionals to deliver high-quality care and tackle the cancer timebomb. By partnering with Globe Locums for locum jobs, hospitals and clinics can increase their capacity to manage the backlog, reduce waiting times for patients, and provide ongoing care for cancer patients.  

Partnering with Globe Locums for Locum Jobs 

Globe Locums has an extensive network of over 60,000 skilled healthcare professionals, including nurses, radiographers, sonographers, biomedical scientists and other allied health professionals. Our rigorous compliance processes ensure that all candidates have the necessary qualifications and experience to deliver high-quality care. Additionally, our streamlined onboarding process ensures that candidates can start work quickly, helping hospitals and clinics to manage the backlog more effectively. 

By partnering with Globe Locums for locum jobs, hospitals and clinics can address the staffing shortages that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and reduce waiting times for patients. This is particularly important for cancer patients, who rely on timely diagnosis and treatment to improve their chances of survival. 

Take Action to Beat the Backlog 

The cancer timebomb is a significant challenge for the healthcare system in 2023. The impact of the backlog on cancer patients is clear, with many patients presenting with more advanced or metastatic cancer due to delayed or cancelled treatment. The fall-out from the pandemic has exacerbated the problem, with fewer GP visits and missed or delayed cancer diagnoses. Urgent action is needed to address the issue, including investing in the recruitment and retention of skilled healthcare professionals.  

If you're a hiring manager in healthcare, we encourage you to join us in the fight against the cancer backlog. By partnering with Globe Locums, you can play an essential role in ensuring that healthcare services are adequately staffed and equipped to provide the best possible care for patients. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right staff to meet your needs and beat the backlog together. 

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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