More emergency cancer patients were admitted to hospital in area last summer, new Public Health England data shows

The number of cancer patients admitted to hospitals as emergency cases in the East Riding of Yorkshire rose last summer, figures show.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:55 am
Patients are commonly admitted as emergency cases via A&E, or after an emergency referral by their GP. Photo: PA Images

Macmillan Cancer Support said the rising number of cancer patients across England arriving at hospitals via A&E or other urgent routes showed the “devastating” effect of the virus on cancer care.

Public Health England data shows 99 people with newly identified tumours were admitted to hospital inpatient wards as an emergency in the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG area in the three months to September.

That was up from 92 between April and June – though it was still three fewer than the 102 recorded during the same period a year earlier.

Patients are commonly admitted as emergency cases via A&E, or after an emergency referral by their GP, but can arrive through other routes.

People who have their cancer diagnosed this way are significantly less likely to survive on average as it is often more advanced.

The figures count all invasive forms of the disease except non-melanoma skin cancer, and can include admissions with a suspicion of a tumour.

Including all referral types, there were 421 first inpatient admissions for cancer in the three months to September – down from 476 during the same period in 2019.

It means around 24% of admissions were listed as emergencies, compared to 21% a year earlier.

Sara Bainbridge, head of policy at Macmillan, said the figures showed “the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on cancer care”.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Despite confronting enormous pressure, the NHS has continued to treat cancer patients as a priority, with 1.86 million urgent referrals and over 477,000 people receiving cancer treatment between March 2020 and January 2021.

“We continue to urge people to come forward to their GP if they have symptoms and as part of our additional investment in the NHS, an extra £1 billion is being used to boost diagnosis and treatment across all areas of elective care in the year ahead.”