Barnsley GP referrals down to 40 per cent of pre-Covid levels

The number of GP referrals made in Barnsley is only at 40 per cent of pre-covid levels.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:18 pm

Cancer referrals are back to expected levels but “impacting on specific specialities only”, a report outlines.

The report, to Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s board of direcors adds that cancer services have been prioritised during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the “overwhelming majority of cancer treatment” has carried on.

Trevor Lake, chair of the board of directors told a meeting on April 1: “GP referrals overall remain at 40 per cent of pre-covid levels, so clearly there is a groundswell of people who are perhaps not visiting their GP.

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Trevor Lake.

“I suspect it’s actually people holding back from visiting [their GP].

“We know anecdotally there is evidence of that in the communities.

“It’s a difficult one to answer – are we saying we’re going to wait until the rate goes down to zero, or are we saying there will come to a point as before?”

An extra £50m in funding has been set aside to adress the cancer screening backlog nationally, and bowel cancer screening will be extended to include 50-60 year olds, with rollout to 56-year-olds from April 2021.