Doctors, charities and the NHS are telling people not to be put off by the coronavirus pandemic and still attend A&E to seek medical care.
Doctors are warning people not to delay seeking help or treatment as you could be putting your long-term health and life in danger.
NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis said, “If you do have symptoms of stroke, chest pain and think it might be a heart attack, a sick child who is deteriorating, if you are a pregnant woman and the baby is not moving as much as it used to, it is important you don’t delay.”
He wanted to reassure people that A&E departments and GP surgeries have made changes to keep staff and patients safe.
A&E numbers are down by 29% since the pandemic swept across the country, and experts are concerned people are not receiving potentially lifesaving treatment for strokes and heart attacks.
There has been a 50% drop in people seeking medical help and treatment for heart related problems.
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said it was “vitally important” people in the UK with existing heart conditions accessed care “immediately” should their condition become worse.
Professor Powis said the NHS are now seeing fewer patients with coronavirus, and it is now time to start building up their services again.
He said, “The NHS has done a magnificent job responding to coronavirus, we have not been overwhelmed in the way seen in other countries, now it is important to start stepping up again to ensure we are not delaying other procedures.”
Juliet Bouverie, from the Stroke Association said, “The quicker you’re diagnosed and treated for a stroke, the better your chances of making a good recovery.”