Top consultant claims Covid lockdown has led to a 'bigger lung cancer toll'


NHS advice to ‘turn off services’ during the coronavirus pandemic ‘led to a bigger lung cancer toll’, says top respiratory consultant

  • Dr David Baldwin was addressing the British Thoracic Oncology Group 
  • Patients with a cough were told by the GPs to avoid coming to the surgery 
  • This, he claims had the effect of severely limiting access to advice and care 

Vast numbers of lung cancer patients are facing an early grave because the NHS ‘turned off’ services for them during the pandemic.

Respiratory consultant David Baldwin, who leads a national expert group on the disease, said patients were victims of a ‘natural experiment’ in which access to services was radically cut because of Covid.

Speaking to the annual conference of the British Thoracic Oncology Group, he said: ‘The method was to turn off patient activity by telling them to stay at home if they had a cough and not come anywhere near GPs, which had the effect of severely limiting access to advice and care.

Respiratory consultant David Baldwin, who leads a national expert group on the disease, said patients were victims of a ‘natural experiment’ in which access to services was radically cut because of Covid.

Respiratory consultant David Baldwin, who leads a national expert group on the disease, said patients were victims of a ‘natural experiment’ in which access to services was radically cut because of Covid.

He said many patients were put off seeking help and advice for their coughs because of Covid-19 advice

He said many patients were put off seeking help and advice for their coughs because of Covid-19 advice

‘The result was fewer patients presenting – many of them dying, probably, even without a diagnosis – hence the drop in [lung cancer] incidence.’

He said he was ‘absolutely convinced’ recorded lung cancer deaths for the past year would be too low.

An NHS spokesman said: ‘Despite the pandemic, the majority of cancer treatment has continued.’

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