Don’t Wait;Act testing campaign launched by BIVDA
The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has launched its new Don’t Wait;Act campaign to re-start testing for non-COVID health issues.
Routine care and health screening for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes have either experienced long pauses or drops in take-ups from members of the public during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As a result, thousands of people could be living with potentially life-threatening undiagnosed diseases.
The campaign seeks to encourage the public to attend test appointments without hesitating over COVID-related safety concerns at healthcare settings and to act swiftly on any worrying signs of symptoms of ill health. Many people who have long-term conditions and need tests to monitor their disease may also have been missing blood tests and we hope this campaign will remind them of their importance.
Some BIVDA member companies saw a 70% drop in routine demand for their diagnostic products during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. Every cancelled order meant that there were patients not being given a vital test that could uncover an undiagnosed condition.
The campaign will be social media-focused, and any organisations who would like to join with BIVDA are very welcome sharing visual and written content around the issue of restarting diagnostic appointments.
BIVDA has worked with its membership to compile pathology testing rate data that demonstrate the fall in testing areas (see details pictured). Significant decreases have been seen in clinical areas such as anaemia (down 29%) HbA1c tests for people with diabetes (down 14%) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) prostate cancer (down 17%), among others.
BIVDA’s CEO, Doris-Ann Williams, said “The COVID pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of testing among the public higher than ever before, but people don’t always realise the significance of the information from tests on their routine blood samples – this information is critical to help doctors decide on treatment as well as diagnosis.
“We completely understand people’s fear of being infected with coronavirus and also not wishing to increase the burden on the NHS; however, they can be reassured by all the steps which have been made in healthcare settings to keep them safe. Ignoring new symptoms can mean that more extensive treatment is required which is a bigger burden to the NHS as well as potentially devastating to the individual and their family. So please Don’t Wait;Act”.