Scottish people more likely to go to hospital or GP for non-coronavirus related illness

9 May 2020, 19:19

The study has found people in Scotland are more open to seeking help with an immediate medical concern not related to coronavirus
The study has found people in Scotland are more open to seeking help with an immediate medical concern not related to coronavirus. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Scots are now more likely to go to hospital or their GP without Covid-19 symptoms, according to new research.

The study has found people in Scotland are more open to seeking help with an immediate medical concern not related to coronavirus than they were two weeks earlier.

The research, commissioned to support the recently launched NHS Is Open campaign in Scotland, shows 51% of those surveyed say they would not avoid going to their GP practice or a hospital at the moment.

This is compared to 41% a fortnight before - a shift that has been welcomed by the GP fronting the campaign, Dr Carey Lunan, and the Scottish Government's national clinical director, Jason Leitch.

It comes as A&E visits to NHS England have fallen by up to 50% and there has been a drop by half of patients attending hospitals with heart attacks.

Doctors' leaders warned that some sick people are too scared to go to hospital over fears of catching coronavirus and also due to reduced services in the system.

Mr Leitch said: "Your community pharmacy and your GP are open.

"Your first GP appointment may be by telephone or video but it is still a hugely important step in finding out if you, or your loved one, needs urgent medical help.

"Don't ignore early cancer signs and symptoms, and certainly don't delay getting checked - your GP practice is still here for you.

"If you or anyone in your household notices a rapid deterioration in health, seek help immediately - please don't ignore the early warning signs of serious conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, severe asthma, or diabetic collapse."

Around a third - 34% - agreed they would still delay attending their GP or hospital at the moment, which is a figure which has fallen from 45% before the campaign began.

The YouGov survey had a sample size of 1,032 adults in Scotland and was carried out online between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dr Lunan said: "The NHS is open and it's encouraging to see that the campaign is getting the message across.

"However, I want to reiterate that if it's urgent, it's urgent, and it is just as important as ever for people to seek help if they have an urgent health concern, or are worried about a potential cancer symptom.

"You are not being a burden, it's what the NHS is here for and we want to hear from you."

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