Scans showing cancer left unread for weeks at NHS hospitals

Radiological scans showing cancer are falling by the wayside at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals, with some going unread for up to six weeks because of a pension dispute between doctors and England’s public health arm.

“Scan report turnaround time has gone from one week to over a month. Unexpected and critical findings are going unreported for weeks. We are now just firefighting,” said an unnamed consultant radiologist in the report published by the Guardian.

Hospitals have cut services as thousands of consultant radiologists stop taking on overtime in order to avoid paying unexpected tax bills on their pensions, according to the Guardian.

“Radiology waiting times are unacceptable, with [delays of] five to six weeks for cancer patients on treatment to get a report,” said one consultant, in a report of more than 1,000 consultants across the UK collected by the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA).

According to the Guardian, the Department of Health and Social Care will look at potential solutions, and its health secretary, Matt Hancock, vowed to remedy the situation before the April 2020 tax year begins.

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