Men’s Health Week 2022

It’s no secret that the last couple of years have caused all kinds of delays.  The last few months have seen us all playing catch-up and it’s likely to be a while before we’re properly back on track.

Unsurprisingly, visiting the GP for routine check-ups has not been a top priority (or at times even possible) for many of us, with the biggest drop in appointments seen for men.  The knock on effect is that important warning signs have been missed, leading to a drop in the number of diagnoses being made.  For example, diagnoses of prostate cancer fell by 29% between 2019 and 2020.  Sadly, this is not due to the disease becoming any rarer.

If you’re a man aged 40 – 74, you will be eligible for an NHS Health Check once every 5 years.  These Health Checks are designed to detect the most common causes of preventable illness and death, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

It is estimated that 2,500 heart attacks or strokes were prevented within the first 5 years of NHS Health Checks being rolled out.  NHS Health Checks were paused for many of us during the height of the pandemic, but are now being rolled out again.  This means it’s all the more important that we are alive to what’s going on with our physical and mental health.

Men’s Health Week seeks to raise awareness of some of the most preventable health conditions affecting men today.  Run by Men’s Health Forum, a charitable organisation seeking to improve the health of men across the UK, the focus for 2022 is the ‘Man MOT’.  The simple message to men is as follows:

  • Take notice of what’s going on in your body and mind
  • Get an NHS Health Check if you are eligible for one
  • Go and see your GP or call 111 if you are worried about something
  • Take Men’s Health Forum’s quick and easy DIY Man MOT

Men’s Health Forum highlights that one man in five dies before the age of 65 – quite a striking figure.  It is thought that by carrying out regular checks and listening to our bodies, this could be significantly reduced.

However, even with the most diligent of patients we know that many have suffered delays throughout the pandemic and the knock-on effects of the virus on the NHS are likely to be felt for some time.  It’s hard to comprehend the challenges faced by medical staff over the past couple of years.   As men were already less likely to visit their GP with health concerns before Covid-19, the additional hurdles posed by a pandemic have only worked to exacerbate the problem.  Patients across the board have been fearful of visiting their doctor, for fear of catching the virus, while many others have simply not wanted to be a burden.

It’s anticipated there will be a rise in medical negligence claims due to the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS and the Courts will need to take all of the circumstances – including staff shortages and stretched resources – into consideration.  However, despite these unprecedented conditions, the damage caused by late diagnosis and delayed treatment must not be minimised.  Cancer patients have particularly suffered, with Macmillan estimating that there are currently around 50,000 missing diagnoses within the UK.  For those already receiving treatment for cancer, vital appointments, procedures and treatments were frequently postponed and cancelled.

At Youngs, our Clinical Negligence Team are here to guide you through this process.  If you have suffered from an injury or illness that you believe is a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim.  We offer clients a no-obligation assessment of their case and provide a sensitive approach to complex medical issues, including those that may have arisen as a result of Covid-19 delays.  Please call us on 02392 483322 to discuss your claim or get in touch via our website and we will get back to you at a time convenient for you.

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