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Record fall in A&E attendances sparks fear sick people could be avoiding hospitals

Medical leaders have warned sick patients not to avoid getting help from the NHS after a huge drop in the numbers of people attending A&E departments sparked fears some could die without care.

In March, the number of people going to their local emergency department fell by 600,000, or 29 per cent, compared to same month last year, the lowest number of attendances since 2010.

While the NHS has battled for years to reduce the number of people going to A&E for unnecessary reasons, the sudden fall during the coronavirus epidemic has worried officials that the pandemic could be deterring people who have genuine need and who could become sicker or even die as a result of staying away.

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Source: HSJ, 9 April 2020


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