Emergency admissions for emergencies are “at an all time high” as patients stay away while the coronavirus is locked out, according to new figures.
A total of 1.3 million spectators were recorded in May, compared to 2.2 million spectators the same month last year.
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The NHS England, which released the figures, said the fall was “probably the result of the Covid-19 response” – an indication that people continued to stay away from A&E services due to the epidemic.
The 42% year-on-year drop in A&E attendance in May compares to a 57% drop in April.
Emergency admissions to hospital A&E services in England also fell last month, down 27% from 547,382 in May 2019 to 398,407 in May 2020.
This is the second lowest number reported for a calendar month since the records began in August 2010.
NHS England again said it was likely a consequence of the coronavirus epidemic.
Figures released today also revealed that GP referrals for urgent cancer checkups have dropped by 60%.
Family doctors made 79,573 urgent referrals to England in April, compared to 199,217 the same month last year.
But despite the huge drop in demand, only 88% were seen in the two-week delay – the lowest since records started in October 2009.
References for breast cancer dropped even more by 78% year-on-year.
NHS England figures released this morning also show that the number of patients admitted for routine hospital treatment has decreased by 85% and the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for elective surgery has increased to 1.13 million.
This is almost double the number for April 2019 and the highest number for a calendar month since January 2008.
Dr. Rebecca Fisher of the Health Foundation think tank said: “Today’s numbers are a wake-up call.
“More needs to be done to ensure that people with cancer and other serious health conditions receive the treatment they need, to avoid storing more serious health problems in the future. Early cancer diagnosis and treatment saves lives. ”
NHS England said, “Many people have delayed seeing their GP for possible symptoms due to fear of catching the virus or not wanting to overwork staff.”
In an attempt to treat sick Britons near their homes, chemo buses are now plying England.
Mobile units can deliver drugs to hospital and supermarket parking lots to help patients avoid crowded rooms.
NHS bosses want to make cancer care as practical as possible during the Covid crisis.
A London trust has also installed driving chemotherapy modules where patients stay in their cars until they are called in for therapy.
There has also been the rapid deployment of a faster form of radiation therapy that requires less than a quarter of hospital visits.
Although some cancer treatments were delayed due to the Covid crisis, nearly 30,000 people started treatment in March.
Sir Simon Stevens, CEO of the NHS, said: “While the NHS has made every effort to care for nearly 100,000 elderly and vulnerable patients who needed emergency hospital treatment for Covid, the staff also worked hard to maintain other services, including A&E, maternity care and treatment for emergencies and emergencies.
“Hospitals are working hard to provide care and treatment to patients in a safe space, from online consultations to chemo buses and surgical centers without Covid.”
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Sara Bainbridge, policy and influence manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “These innovations are welcome and will play a role in getting cancer care back on track.
“However, thousands of people across the country have seen their care interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, at a time that is already extremely distressing for many people living with cancer.
“We cannot allow cancer to become the” forgotten C “of this pandemic.”