To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to decreasing emergency attendances since lockdown measures were introduced in response to the covid-10 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to encourage seriously ill people to go to hospital.
In line with Government advice, people have been advised that they should not leave their home during the COVID-19 outbreak unless it is essential to do so. This is central to our strategy which is to ensure that the National Health Service is not overwhelmed but also able to operate sustainably. Nevertheless, we have been clear from the outset that patient safety remains our priority and have ensured that urgent services, such as cancer operations, are protected. The Prime Minister has encouraged all patients needing urgent and emergency services to continue to come to hospital and receive treatment – and not to delay which might make someone’s condition worse. Clear and consistent processes have also been agreed between local partners to ensure the safe handling of emergency and urgent referrals from primary care. We are taking every step necessary to bolster the NHS’s resilience and capacity so it can provide the best possible care for those who need it.