There’s been a steady stream of figures since the pandemic began. The number of COVID-19 cases. The number of hospitalisations. The number of people waiting for screening, tests or treatment. The number of cancer surgeries that have been postponed or cancelled.
The sustained disruption caused by the pandemic has left a deep rift in cancer care, with 40,000 fewer people starting cancer treatment across the UK last year. The majority of these people will be in the community, living with cancer without knowing about it.
This is why the NHS are running a pharmacy bag campaign to encourage people to contact their GP if they have any unexpected bleeding, pain, a lump, persistent cough or weight loss which could be a sign of cancer.
During the first wave, many people didn’t seek help because they didn’t want to add to GPs’ workloads, but its vital people don’t delay contacting their GP if they notice anything that’s unusual for them or isn’t going away. Pharmacy bags are particularly effective at addressing this, with 82% of people saying they are more likely to engage with such information if they receive it in a healthcare environment.
The activity is running from July to September in 200 pharmacies across the London Borough’s of Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Camden and Islington.