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Significant decline in visits to Accident and Emergency in Surrey

3 minute read
Significant decline in visits to Accident and Emergency in Surrey

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 2nd May 2020.

A&E visits to Frimley Health Trust and the Royal Surrey have dropped by a quarter.

NHS England figures show there were 4,905 A&E attendances at Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in March this year – 1,643 fewer than the same period a year ago - amounting to a 25% drop.

There were 15,117 A&E attendances at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in March – 5,610 fewer than a year previously, which is a 27% drop.

Doctors note

It comes amid fears people with serious health conditions are avoiding hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, with the head of the NHS issuing a plea for the sick not to ignore problems until it is too late.

It reflects the picture across England, where accident and emergency departments were at their quietest for any month on record.

Attendances plunged to 1.5 million nationally – 29% below the same month a year earlier.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine says it is concerned the drop could mean people with serious health problems are avoiding A&E, for fear of catching the coronavirus.

In a statement, the Frimley Health Trust told Eagle Radio:

"We are grateful to everyone who has supported our hospitals during this public health emergency by only using NHS services when they really need them.

"However, our emergency departments remain fully open to everyone who needs emergency care.

"If you need urgent medical help, please use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.

"If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999. And if you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.

"You should also continue to attend any other hospital appointments unless you have been told not attend."

Dr Marianne Illsley. the Medical Director at Guildford's Royal Surrey said the hospital is open for business:

"For anybody who has health concerns who might be concerned about going to see their doctor or going to hospital because of fears of picking up the COVID virus which is really understandable. 

"My message would be that actually the hospital is very much open and that includes both our emergency department and for referrals. 

"We're taking very careful precautions around infection control in relation to COVID so we're taking care to keep those areas free of patients we think might have the virus."