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Don't use Covid as an excuse to ignore symptoms

The NHS is still here for you. If you want to stay safe, tell a GP about your symptoms.

The NHS is still there for you - it's not just about Covid-19.

Research suggests that Covid-19 is changing the way we are accessing NHS services. A recent survey 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.

It's understandable that we feel like this but it's not necessary. It could even be dangerous. The NHS is still here for you:

  • If you have a routine appointment, make sure you keep it, unless recommended otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you are told to go to hospital for a routine appointment, then the NHS has measures in place to make sure that it safe for you to do so.
  • No staff who have Covid-19 symptoms or come into contact with someone with symptoms are allowed to work in the hospital meaning the NHS can see you in a safe environment.
Cancer symptoms

This is particularly important if you have cancer symptoms. While the number of urgent cancer referrals is back up to 85% of pre-Covid levels, there are some people who may have worrying symptoms who are still not contacting their GP.

If you have:

  • unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury (such as blood in your poo or pee),
  • an unexplained lump,
  • weight loss which feels significant to you or
  • an unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more,

it could be a sign of cancer.

It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable, so just speak to your GP. It's safe in person, online or on the telephone. What may not be safe is to ignore it.

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

Registered with the Fundraising Regulator