New statistics released by NHS England have shown that more than 200,000 patients across the country are now waiting more than a year to receive hospital treatment, while the number of people waiting over a year for their treatment is now 150 times higher than in 2019 – a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of these include cancer patients, where the backlog of those waiting over 100 days has doubled since last year.
However, the prostate biopsy no longer has to wait, despite the continued pressure on hospital resources. With the latest methodology, such as the PrecisionPoint transperineal access system, prostate biopsies can be conducted under local anaesthetic (LA TP), in an outpatient setting, minimising the impact on theatre space and hospital beds while maximising patient safety.
In addition to its setting, this method is proven to provide more accurate cancer diagnosis through superior access to, and sampling of, the entire prostate. This means that clinicians can better categorise and grade those patients most at risk of delayed treatment for their cancer, while patients who are diagnosed with a less aggressive cancer can be reassured that their treatment can be safely delayed without impacting their overall health.
There is currently very little understanding of how much impact the last year’s delays to elective treatments will have on the NHS and on patients’ health. It is therefore imperative that patients, GPs and specialists act now to ensure the backlog of potential cancer referrals does not continue. It is imperative that the capability to undertake safer, better and more accurate biopsies is maximised out of a duty of care for patients and for our limited NHS resource alike.