Why are people delaying going to the hospital with serious injuries?

Written by Nigel Simpkins

A recent study carried out by the National Accident Helpline (NAHL), has discovered that many people delay going to the hospital with serious injuries. While the recent coronavirus pandemic has played a role in people putting off seeking treatment, the issue has been prevalent since before Covid-19.

So, why are people delaying getting the treatment they need? Below, we’ll look at some of the most common reasons serious injuries are often ignored.

Why don’t Brits seek help for serious injuries?

The latest statistics from the NHS, show that as of June 2020, there were 60,398,455 patients signed up with a GP. While this does account for around 91% of Brits, it still leaves a staggering 6 million people without access to a doctor if they need one. Even for those who are signed up, 57% claim they don’t visit their GP regularly. So, what’s causing people to delay seeking medical help?

The main reasons include:

  • Embarrassment 
  • Scared of what the doctor will find
  • Don’t have the time
  • Worry over wasting the doctors time

These are the most common reasons medical treatment is put off according to a survey commissioned by Pancreatic Cancer Action. The fear over what the doctor might find, along with the worry over wasting their GPs time, were the two leading concerns. 

How long does it take to seek help?

According to the research carried out by the NAHL, the length of time people wait to seek treatment differs depending upon the injury. For a broken leg, it takes an average of 1 day and 2 hours to seek help. For burns, people wait around 3 days and 3 hours to seek help. 

The injuries people wait the longest to treat include back, arm, hand and leg injuries. For these types of injuries, it takes around 9 days for patients to seek treatment. 

NHS urges people to seek treatment

The recent research conducted by medical negligence solicitors, does prove worrying. The NHS has recently urged people to continue to seek treatment during the fight against Covid-19. More patients than ever before have been putting off seeking help for injuries during the pandemic. 

While the reasons people do put off seeking medical help are logical, nothing should stop you from seeking the help you need. Even if it is something you’re worried about discovering, the earlier you know about the problem, the more successfully it can be treated.