The Royal College of Surgeons1 describes a “mountain-sized” backlog of cancelled elective procedures caused by Covid-19 which will require “a five year plan to address” Quoted in Brennan (2020). The CovidSurg Collaborative (2020) estimates half a million cancellations between April and June 2020 in the UK. SUS (2020). Ibid. NHS Digital (2020). AQ (2020).
In North West England, elective activity fell by two thirds between March and April 2020. Some planned procedures, such as cancer services, have been protected from the impact of the pandemic. Others, such as a cataract surgery and colon endoscopies, have been hit hard.3 The longer-term effects of such cancellations should not be overlooked. Postponed cataract surgery means prolonged vision impairment and decreased quality of life. At worst, delayed colon endoscopy may mean a missed cancer diagnosis.
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