Help Us, Help You – Accessing NHS Services
COVID-19 has had a huge effect on the way that people are accessing NHS services. This includes the fact that many people have been discouraged from seeking medical care as they normally would.
The new NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign aims to encourage people that it is safe for them to access a range of NHS services, avoiding delays in people seeking treatment when they need it.
Famous faces, including TV chefs Gordon Ramsay, Nadiya Hussein, and actress Emma Thompson are backing the campaign, urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments.
A recent survey of 2,178 people found that almost half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all. A fifth (22%) would not want to burden the NHS, and a similar proportion said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help.
While the number of urgent cancer referrals is back up to 85% of pre-COVID levels, there are still concerns that people who may have worrying symptoms are not contacting their GP.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care in England, said: “Alongside treating 110,000 people with coronavirus, NHS staff have gone to great lengths to make sure that people who do not have Covid can safely access services.
“So whether you or a loved one has a routine appointment, or a potential cancer symptom, our message is clear – you are not a burden, we are here to safely care for you so please don’t delay – Help Us Help You and come forward as you usually would.
“Cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught at an earlier stage and so coming forward for a check could save your life.”
If you or someone you know has a symptom that could be cancer (such as unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury, an unexplained lump, weight loss which feels significant to you or an unexplained pain that doesn’t go away), the NHS is here to help you and can see you safely.
You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of cancer here: nhs.uk/cancersymptoms