Health and Social Care Select Committee Report

The Health and Social Care Select Committee have published their report on the inquiry 'Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond'.

Cancer52 submitted two pieces of evidence and our evidence is footnoted on page 10 (footnote 22) in relation to shielding. Below is a summary of their findings.

The report:

  • recognises that communication with patients has not always worked well and recommends that NHSE should review the directions given to Trusts about how they communicate with patients about ongoing treatment. The committee also suggests more work is needed to tell the general public that the NHS is open and to help to alleviate fears about catching COVID-19 so that people are not discouraged from attending medical settings;

  • notes disruption to appointments and waiting times, with cancer urgent referrals running at 62% of pre-pandemic levels and chemotherapy at 70%. The report also looks at dentistry, elective surgery and mental health;

  • summarises conversations and letters from key figures at NHSE (Simon Stevens, Amanda Pritchard and Steve Powis), who said that cancer services had continued during the pandemic during the first few months, and then in August Simon Stevens talk about dealing with the backlog and that to achieve this, things will have to be done differently. The committee ask for an update by the end of Oct 2020 on plans to reduce the backlog across cancer, mental health, elective surgery and dentistry and an update on positive innovations by the end of 2020;

  • summarises statements, conversations and letters from key figures at NHSE (Simon Stevens, Amanda Pritchard and Steve Powis) about the continuation of cancer services during the pandemic and about dealing with the backlog. The committee ask for an update by the end of Oct 2020 on plans to reduce the backlog across cancer, mental health, elective surgery and dentistry and an update on positive innovations by the end of 2020;

  • also focuses on PPE, staff testing and burnout, with a notable recommendation that all NHS staff should be regularly tested for COVID-19.

The full report is available here.

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