The NHS in Lincolnshire is encouraging patients to get tested for suspected bladder cancer after a number of people choose not to attend their appointment.
Since June this year, over 70 people have declined a cystoscopy test for suspected bladder cancer saying they would not be able to self-isolate for 72 hours before their appointment because of work or other commitments.
Andrew Simpson, deputy medical director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), said it was vital that people prioritise their appointments in order to either rule out or diagnose cancer at the earliest opportunity.
Mr Simpson said: “We know that diagnosing cancer early improves health outcomes so having a test as soon as possible is really important. We appreciate people lead busy lives but we cannot stress how important it is for them to attend their appointment.”
Lee Parkin, outpatient’s service business manager at ULHT, said asking people to self-isolate before their appointment was not ideal but they have to do this, as the safety of all our patients and staff is paramount.
Mr Parkin said: “Self-isolation and strict infection control procedures are ways in which we can make the hospital environment as safe as possible and reassure people who might be anxious about attending hospital due to COVID-19.
“We try to be as flexible as we can with appointments, however, as we move into the recovery phase during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the number of suspected cancer patients the hospital are seeing is increasing again, therefore, it is paramount that all appointments are attended so that we can see all patients in the right place at the right time.”
Sarah Jane Mills, lead for cancer at NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said patients will have already spoken to their GPs about their symptoms and the importance of getting tested, therefore they should not hesitate to book an appointment when one is offered to them. Seventy two hours of staying at home is a relatively short time when early diagnosis makes such a big difference to successful treatment.
Find out more about the symptoms of bladder cancer on the NHS website.