The Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) is a unique and first of its kind communication collaboration of over 35 peak bodies, industry and healthcare organisations coming together to stress the importance for people to continue with monitoring their health status and conditions to ensure optimal long term health outcomes are achieved.
The CCC advocates for people to continue with their health management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patient safety and continuity of care is extremely important, particularly for people living with and beyond bowel cancer, undergoing active treatment and care, or requiring a colonocsopy due to urgent and/or new symptoms or a positive screening test result.
Not seeking medical help when it is really required may place your health, and even your life, at risk.
Despite uncertainties due to COVID-19, early detection of bowel cancer cannot and should not stop.
During January to July 2020, there were 144,379 (17%) fewer bowel cancer screening tests returned compared to 2019, despite an additional 278,304 (14%) tests being mailed.
It is important delays in diagnosis and treatment are minimised to ensure the best health outcomes possible, as 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated when detected early.
Healthcare is one of the permitted reasons to leave home under COVID-19 restrictions. So, if you have missed a medical appointment, received a positive test, or are experiencing new symptoms, now is the time to speak with your GP.
Healthcare services have COVID-safe measures in place to ensure your safety.
The number of colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies and polyp removal procedures performed in April 2020, was around half of those undertaken in March 2020.
- Colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies decreased 55% (from 56,048 in March to 25,454 in April); and
- Procedures to remove polyps which are associated with colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy procedures also decreased 57% (from 25,509 in March to 10,896).
The number of investigations then increased in May and June but were still lower than for March 2020.
- Colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies were 36% and 15% lower with 35,957 and 47,508 services in May and June respectively.
- Polyp removal procedures were 34% lower and 11% lower with 16,726 and 22,683 services in May and June respectively.
For bowel cancer surgeries in May 2020 (883) were 16% lower than those recorded for March (1,056) and April (996). The number of bowel cancer surgeries increased in June 2020 (938), but were still 11% lower than for March 2020.