22 October 2019

When you buy your lunchtime sandwich, would you have a life-saving cancer screening test?

Wilkin Chapman’s leading medical negligence solicitor has welcomed a new report calling for action to encourage women to attend cancer screening checks.

Responding to the NHS commissioned report by national expert Sir Mike Richards, Senior Solicitor Jonathan Baker has urged everyone to make time for health checks and to attend screenings.

One of the recommendations made by Sir Mike is the introduction of lunchtime mammograms and smear tests, taking place near workplaces. He hoped that such action would halt a collapse in screening rates, which has been witnessed recently - latest NHS figures show that 30 per cent of women do not attend screenings they are called to.

Sir Mike, the former national clinical director for cancer, stressed how every day’s delay was a missed opportunity to catch a person’s cancer or disease at an earlier point, and potentially save a life.

Supporting any such initiative, Jonathan said: “The world we live in now is inherently different to how things were when the NHS was first introduced, and people sometimes don’t prioritise taking time out of their busy schedules to monitor their own health.

“There may therefore be a reluctance to take time away to attend the GP, or to have a scan as they think it’ll be a day away from the office. Most of the time it’s probably going to be nothing, but it may be and the sooner something is identified, generally the easier it is to manage and the better the outcome achieved. This is particularly the case with the proposal that screening will become more personalised to them,” he added.

However, Jonathan did stress that for any such move to succeed, the proper NHS structures must be put into practice.

“Ultimately, any way to get more people checking their health and identify problems at an earlier stage should be encouraged, as it will likely lead to a better health outcome for the person involved, and save significant costs for the NHS that would be needed if it was picked up much later. But there must be a clear pathway to ensure that these avenues all communicate back to the GP or the hospital, to avoid people being lost in the system,” he advised.

To contact Jonathan for an informal discussion on any issue surrounding medical or clinical negligence, please email Jonathan Baker or phone 01522 515966.

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