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People in the Midlands are being urged to seek the urgent care and treatment they need after visits to A&E in April dropped by almost 60 per cent.
Seeking medical help is one of the four reasons that people can safely leave home, in line with government guidance. NHS staff have worked hard to put in place measures allowing people to access care safely – such as splitting services into Covid and non-Covid. Yet latest figures show that many people are not seeking treatment due to coronavirus fears.
From 1 April – 22 April 2020 there were 4,763 A&E visits at hospital trusts covering the Midlands, compared with 11,703 during the same period last year. Emergency admissions have also dropped significantly by over 40 per cent.
To help remind people the NHS is still there for them it has recently launched a campaign called ‘Help Us Help You’, sharing the best way for people in the Midlands to get the help they need for a range of symptoms. Those with the following symptoms should visit A&E:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma such as a road traffic accident
People should call 999 immediately if they or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.
Nigel Sturrock, Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said people should not be put off attending A&E if they believe they need to.
“Waiting to get help could have serious consequences for patients and harm their full recovery. Across primary care, community services and the hospitals, the NHS has put in processes to protect patients from catching Covid-19, so patients should feel confident to come. It is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns, they seek help.
“While NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to deal with coronavirus, they have also worked hard to ensure that patients who don’t have Covid-19 can safely access essential services. So, whether you or loved one have the symptoms or a heart attack or stroke, are a parent worried about their child or have concerns about conditions such as cancer you should seek help in the way you always would. Ignoring problems can have serious consequences – now or in the future.”