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A&E attendances in England plummet 57% amid coronavirus pandemic
14 May 2020, 10:16
A&E attendances in England have plummeted to their lowest on record, amid fears people aren't seeking medical attention when they need it due to coronavirus.
Data published by NHS England shows 0.9 million attendances were recorded in April 2020, down 57% from 2.1 million in April 2019.
The number is the lowest for any calendar month since current records began in August 2010.
NHS England, which published the figures, said the fall was "likely to be a result of the Covid-19 response" - an indication that people have been staying away from A&E departments because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Emergency admissions to A&E departments at hospitals in England also showed a sharp fall last month, down 39% from 535,226 in April 2019 to 326,581 in April 2020.
This is the lowest number reported for any calendar month since current records began.
Some of this drop of course is the natural result of lockdown, there's fewer drunken accidents and crashes on the roads. We may also be seeing fewer people misusing A&E (going when they didn't need to).— Rachael Venables (@rachaelvenables) May 14, 2020
The concern is how many people aren't going who should be.
NHS England again said this was likely to be a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.
Data also shows that the number of patients waiting to start treatment at the end of March was 4.2 million, down on the 4.4 million in the previous month.
The UK lockdown was announced on March 23.