Partners' News: Sheffield GPs urge the public to seek help for new and worrying symptoms

Monday 1st June 2020

Partners' News: Sheffield GPs urge the public to seek help for new and worrying symptoms

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people to seek help from their GP if they are concerned about changes to their health or body.

New findings from the NHS show that four in ten people are so concerned about being a burden on the NHS, that it has stopped them from seeking help from their GP during the covid-19 outbreak. This has been reflected in a reduction in cancer referrals in Sheffield which were down by 58% in April compared to referrals made by GPs in February. 

Doctors at the CCG are reminding the public that GP services are available throughout the pandemic and that people shouldn’t put off seeing their GP if they are worried about their health. If you are concerned about any changes in your health or body, it’s important that you seek medical advice and treatment.

Dr Kirsty Gillgrass, GP and Clinical Director at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “We know that referrals to cancer services have halved recently which is worrying. We know that finding cancer early gives us the best chance to cure it and ignoring potential problems can have serious consequences now or in the future. I urge anyone who has noticed changes in their body or just a gut feeling that something isn’t right, speak to your GP. Most of the time it’s nothing to worry about, but the sooner you speak to your GP, the sooner you can begin treatment if it’s needed.”

If you have any of the following symptoms that have lasted longer than 3 weeks, please contact your GP over the telephone as soon as possible, it’s most likely not something serious, but it’s important to get them checked:

  • a new lump or bump
  • passing blood when you urinate or have a bowel movement
  • a change in bowel movements
  • difficulty swallowing
  • losing or gaining weight without explanation
  • A new mole or a mole that has changed
  • Coughing, chest pain and breathlessness for more than 3 weeks

Dr Gillgrass added: “If you notice any changes in your health, please give your GP a call. You aren’t wasting our time, essential NHS services continue to be here for you during the pandemic and please be reassured that special measures are in place within GP services for the safety of patients and staff. Your GP can be contacted on the usual number, please don’t turn up to a practice without an appointment.

“As well as getting new symptoms checked out, it’s also vital that those people who have already been diagnosed with cancer or other long-term conditions still attend pre-arranged appointments at the hospital and with your GP”.

If you need urgent medical help call 111, or 999 for emergencies. Click here to watch a video message from Kirsty and other GPs across South Yorkshire reminding people that they are still here to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

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