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A&E attendance remains down as people steer clear over COVID fears, figures suggest

Written by on 8 October 2020

People are still staying away from A&E in England amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, new figures suggest.

A total of 1.7 million people went to the emergency room in September 2020 – a drop of 20% compared to to 2.1 million in the same period last year.

NHS England, which released the data, said this is likely due to COVID-19.

The year-on-year drops for previous months saw 19% less people in A&E in August 2020 compared to August 2019.

In June the numbers were down 30%, and July 33%.

The figures also showed that urgent cancer referrals made by GPs were down – although not as low as earlier in the year.

There were 169,660 recommendations made by doctors in August 2020, down from 200,317 in August 2019 – working out to a 15% fall.

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In May, the drop compared to the same time last year was 47%, and in June 21%.

Urgent breast cancer referrals were down 28% for August, from 13,220 last year to 9,498 in 2020.

The total number of people who were admitted to hospital for routine treatments in England was down by 43% year-on-year in August.

Only 155,267 people went in for procedures, compared to 275,267 in the same month in 2019.