Dying cancer patients abandoned as coronavirus derails UK research and treatment


Hundreds of dying cancer patients have seen Marie Curie nurses’ home visits canceled as the coronavirus epidemic derailed cancer research in the UK and forced hospitals to cancel treatments.

Some cancer patients have even been asked to “form an opinion” on whether or not to continue their treatment in hospitals struggling to cope with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.

Cancer charity Marie Curie said The independent he had been forced to cancel at least 155 visits to dying patients since Thursday last week due to lack of protective equipment and staff shortages.

Without home care services, some patients and families may have no choice but to go to the hospital or call an ambulance.

The UK foreclosure has also hit fundraising, with the charity sector predicting a loss of £ 4 billion. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce more support for the charity sector on Wednesday.

Cancer Research UK announced a £ 44 million reduction in research this year due to a 25% drop in revenue.

Other patients have been told that their treatments and surgeries are too risky while the virus is still spreading.

It has been reported that some patients have been says they will not be treated after being diagnosed with cancer when hospitals canceled or delayed appointments.

The NHS England said hospitals should try to “delineate” services in private hospitals to continue to diagnose and treat cancer patients.

In London, cancer services in the capital are now coordinated by a specialized Cancer Hub run by the Royal Marsden and University College London hospitals.

The charity Marie Curie said he had been hit hard by new protective equipment (PPE) guidelines that required nurses to wear aprons, gloves and surgical masks even when people weren’t showing up no symptoms. There is a general shortage of equipment.

The charity said its services had been “put into crisis” with at least 155 canceled visits and warned that hundreds more could be affected in the coming weeks.

Julie Pearce, head nurse of the charity said, “The PPE supplies that have been made available to Marie Curie staff to date are not sufficient. It is a daily battle to get orders delivered to the right places and we do not know what or when they will arrive.

“We can only continue to relieve the pressure on the NHS by caring for the dying, with and without coronavirus, at home and in our homes, if we have the right equipment available everywhere. If we don’t get the PPE we need, there is a very real possibility that more visits to deceased home patients will have to be canceled. “

Mandy Watkins, a senior Staffordshire medical assistant who was forced to cancel her appointments, said, “I had to work last night. I feel bad for our patients and their families. We don’t mind being busy, we don’t mind the extra pressure, we’ll take whatever is thrown at us, but we won’t be able to care because we don’t have equipment – to we are heartbreaking. “

Like many charities, Marie Curie faces a real impact on her funding and has to raise £ 2.5 million per week to manage her nursing and palliative care services. He launched an emergency appeal to try to raise funds.

Iain Foulkes, executive director of research and innovation at Cancer Research UK, said: “Cancer Research UK funds almost 50% of cancer research in the UK and the reduction in research funding is the most difficult decision we have ever had to make. We do not do this lightly.

“We hope that limiting our spending now will allow us to continue funding vital research in the long term.”

Cancer Research UK said that its helpline had received calls from affected patients who were told their treatment was offered, but it was up to them whether or not to take treatment.

Other patients have expressed concern that general decisions have been made as to whether or not they will be treated.

Martin Ledwick, chief nurse of information at Cancer Research UK, told the PA news agency: “We have heard anecdotally that some people feel that decisions have been made to cancel operations or not to continue treatment and this is a general decision – they don’t necessarily hear from their doctors that this is something that was done on an individual basis, it’s just a case where the hospital is overwhelmed, so we can’t do it right now.

“Obviously we cannot validate these stories, but anecdotally, we hear a mixed picture of people being offered a reasonable decision, and perhaps in some cases decisions are made regarding treatment in a more global way. “

Additional reports by agencies


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