A&E numbers 'lowest on record' since Coronavirus lockdown

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AmbulanceImage source, Science Photo Library

The number of people attending A&E has plummeted since the coronavirus lockdown started.

Before the pandemic, weekly A&E attendance rates so far this year had been about 25,000.

New NHS Scotland figures show that, in the week ending 29 March, a total of 11,020 patients went to hospital emergency departments for help.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the numbers were the lowest on record since weekly reporting began.

The Scottish government and health boards have been urging people to only attend A&E if their medical situation is life-threatening.

Ms Freeman said people staying away from A&E was "helping to free-up vital resources to allow NHS staff to be redeployed to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic".

She added: "I would also like to again pay tribute to Scotland's health and social care staff for their continued hard work and dedication - you are providing an exceptional level of care during these extraordinary times and each and every one of you has my very grateful thanks."

Despite the drop, the figures show that the Scottish government's target of 95% of emergency cases to be completed within four hours of arrival was missed.

A total of 92.2% of those attending were seen within four hours.

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