New figures show huge drop in cancer referrals at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals

The number of people sent for urgent cancer investigations at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals has plummeted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

Sunday, 14th June 2020, 12:05 am
NHS England data shows 666 people were seen by a specialist at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust following an urgent GP referral in April. That was down from 1,748 in the same month last year – a drop of 62%. Photo: PA Images.

Macmillan Cancer Support says the virus has “wreaked havoc” on cancer care nationally, with service disruption and fears over Covid-19 leading to a huge backlog of patients requiring vital treatment.

NHS England data shows 666 people were seen by a specialist at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust following an urgent GP referral in April. That was down from 1,748 in the same month last year – a drop of 62%.

Lynda Thomas, Macmillan’s chief executive, said the figures are a “sobering demonstration” of the impact of Covid-19 on cancer services.

At Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, the number of people starting treatment following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer fell by 17% to 141 in April – mirroring the fall seen across England.

Sarah Woolnough, executive director of policy and information at charity Cancer Research UK, said the national statistics are “hugely concerning”, and thousands of patients are now in a backlog needing cancer care.