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NHS hit by Covid disruption as cancer referrals plunge

Hip and knee surgery patients also suffer ‘misery and despair’ as operations delayed

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The Covid pandemic is casting a wide shadow over the nation’s health, according to new data revealing a dramatic drop in urgent referrals for suspected cancers in England, and a plummeting quality of life among patients awaiting hip and knee surgery in the UK.

The crisis has caused huge disruption to healthcare services: in November NHS England revealed that the number of people waiting more than a year for surgery had reached its highest level since 2008, while patients have reported that their procedures, from cancer surgery to hip replacements, have been repeatedly cancelled.

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