COVID-19 and cancer recovery in 2021
DATA-CAN is pleased to provide support and data research to a new report on COVID-19 and cancer recovery by the healthcare consultancy CF.
The CF report brings together quantitative data on cancer from the start of the pandemic up to the position as of Spring 2021, with the findings from interviews with leading experts in the field of cancer. It includes DATA-CAN real-time data and analysis collected from the NHS during the pandemic which highlighted the severe impact that COVID-19 was having on cancer services and patients. The DATA-CAN data showed:
- A decline in urgent referrals for cancer (70 per cent decrease) during the initial lockdown
- A decline in chemotherapy attendances (40 per cent decrease) in the same period
- By the end of May, these declines had only partially recovered.
CF’s report makes a series of recommendations that DATA-CAN supports, including:
- Find the missing patients in terms of the demographics, geography and tumour types and understand why patients are not attending their GP/cancer services
- Support efforts to deliver early diagnosis through:
- Developing new pathways across primary and secondary care to think in terms of a cancer ecosystem which allows for pathway inversion and integrates digital
- Increase diagnostic capacity, in particular through the development of community-based diagnostic ‘proto hubs’ away from acute providers but fully integrated with local services
- Learn from international best practice
- Accelerate sharing of data and evaluation of innovations.
Commenting on the report, DATA-CAN’s scientific director, Professor Mark Lawler, said,
“We have seen significant improvements in cancer outcomes in the UK in the last decade. However, it would be a tragedy if the great strides we have made in the last 10 years were undone by what has happened in the last 10 months. Cancer must not become the forgotten “C” in the fight against COVID.”