Don't use Covid as an excuse to ignore 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.
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.
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.
Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.
Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.