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A group of 48 midwives are celebrating their graduation in a virtual way, due to lockdown.
A group of 48 student midwives are celebrating their graduation in a virtual way, due to lockdown.

Suffolk cancer referral rates plummet

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Rates of cancer referrals in Suffolk have plummeted according to health bosses as people fail to see a GP due to coronavirus.

Cancer cells
Science Photo Library

Data from the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) revealed that "two-week wait referrals", those requested by a GP for a hospital check on suspicious symptoms within a fortnight, were currently 50% of their normal levels.

The CCGs said around 8% of referrals will turn out to be cancers, meaning an estimated 50 confirmed cancers per month were being missed per CCG district.

Dr Peter Holloway, GP and cancer lead with the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said they were worried people were getting diagnosed at a later stage than they should.

"We know the earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome," he said.

Health chiefs said the reasons for people not wanting symptoms checked included those not wanting to burden the NHS, while others did not wish to visit a GP or go into a hospital for fear of catching the virus.