To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of (a) the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on time taken for health diagnoses and (b) whether that has contributed to the number of ill-health dismissals.
The percentage of patients waiting more than six weeks for a diagnostic test was 24% in February 2022, compared to 2.8% in February 2020. We are investing £2.3 billion in diagnostics to reduce waiting times and the ‘Help us help you’ campaign is encouraging people to seek urgent care and treatment if they need it.
No formal assessment has been made of delayed diagnosis in primary care or the potential impact on ill-health dismissals. General practitioners continue to support patients, with NHS 111 and community pharmacy teams.