NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to increase the resilience of breast cancer screening and diagnosis so that services may continue to operate during a second wave of COVID-19. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Public Health Commissioning and Operations Team advise that where there are local COVID-related lockdowns or other restrictions in place the expectation is that screening services should continue as contracted, including continuing actions to support the full restoration of National Health Service screening services. This includes the expectation that screening staff should not be diverted towards other services, or their buildings or facilities repurposed for other uses, without the specific agreement of the relevant regional commissioner.
Cancer treatment continued during the first wave and will continue during any second wave. Between March and August, over 200,000 cancer treatments were carried out, 85% of the number for the same period in 2019. From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, NHS England and NHS Improvement have been clear that cancer treatment should continue, a challenge which the NHS has risen to.