Coronavirus: A&E visits plummet at the Harrogate and District Trust

Coronavirus: A&E visits plummet at the Harrogate and District Trust

Published by May Norman at 11:56am 15th May 2020.

Katie Williams, Data Reporter

Health bosses report BIG drop in A&E visits in the last few months

  • A&E admissions are Harrogate District Hospital have dropped by over 50 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 2,387 A&E attendances were recorded last month (April).
  • Health bosses are now urging people to not put off attending if treatment is required.

A&E visits have plummeted at the Harrogate and District Trust during the coronavirus crisis, new figures show.

A record low number of emergency visits to hospitals across England were recorded in April as the population stayed away from emergency departments amid the outbreak.

The sharp drop has prompted concern that some people's conditions may have worsened as a fear of infection kept them from seeking care.

NHS England data shows 2,387 A&E attendances were recorded at Harrogate and District NHS Trust last month.

That was 36 per cent fewer than in March, and a 54 per cent decrease from in April last year, when there were 5,155.

A&E

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

Nationally, there were 917,000 A&E attendances in April 2020, down 57 per cent from 2.1 million in 2019.

NHS England said the fall was "likely to be a result of the Covid-19 response".

Dr Nick Scriven, a past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the drop in A&E attendances was "a significant concern" and people's conditions may have worsened as a result.

"This is a ticking timebomb in itself and it will be exacerbated by a myriad of other pressures in the coming weeks.

"There will be an ongoing need to keep people with coronavirus separate from others to prevent transmission.

"Attempting to manage increased demand will be very challenging."

The NHS figures show emergency admissions at the Harrogate and District Trust also fell, from 1,571 in April 2019 to 924 last month.

John Appleby, director of research and chief economist at the Nuffield Trust, said:

"People are likely putting off seeking care because of Covid-19 infection fears and worries of burdening overstretched NHS staff; this is despite some reassurance from both the Government and the NHS that these services are open.

"We do not yet know what impact this is having on people's health – some people will have self-treated or sought other sources of care."

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said although A&E attendances were sharply down, the majority of reductions were for lower-risk conditions.

He said:

"The NHS has launched a public information campaign reminding the people of the importance of seeking care for urgent and emergency conditions."

When should I attend A&E?

Health bosses at Harrogate District Hospital are encouraging people to attended if they need treatment.

It's reiterating this message to residents and visitors:

·         If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.

·         If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.

·         If you need urgent medical help, 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

·         If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.

·         You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.​