The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK once again placed enormous pressures on the NHS in all four nations. This impact was felt across all areas of healthcare, including cancer services where there was a drop in GP referrals, a reduction in screening and an impact on cancer surgery. Patients with suspected cancer are encouraged to come forward for investigation and those referred for radiotherapy to present for treatment.
Throughout the pandemic, radiotherapy centres remained – and continue to remain – open to treat patients who need them, regardless of their COVID status. Radiotherapy professionals have been working tirelessly to offer high-quality treatment and care for patients with cancer, putting in place additional measures to ensure the safety of both patients and staff.
At the same time, the radiotherapy community has adapted and evolved the service offered, rapidly implementing innovative, evidence-based treatment schedules and, in some cases, offering radiotherapy in place of other treatments such as surgery.
The Radiotherapy Board recognises the significant challenges radiotherapy teams have faced and the impact these have had on personnel at all levels and in all roles – and yet these teams continue to serve their patients day in, day out. The Radiotherapy Board commends the continued hard work, dedication and commitment of all radiotherapy professionals in providing an ongoing service for patients at this time.