People are avoiding hospital because they are nervous of catching COVID-19 Our response to ONS weekly deaths in England and Wales

23 June 2020

Commenting on Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on deaths registered weekly in England and Wales: week ending 12 June 2020, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:

'Today’s data show that deaths from COVID-19, and overall excess deaths, are decreasing. But while deaths in hospital are now below normal levels, deaths at home – just over 900 excess deaths in the week ending 12 June – remain higher than usual for this time of year.

'At the same time, there has been a 30% fall in emergency admissions to hospital in May compared to the previous year. People are avoiding hospital because they are nervous of catching COVID-19. Health Foundation and Ipsos Mori polling published earlier this month found that 47% of people would feel uncomfortable using their local hospital in the short term if the need arose, and three quarters (76%) would be concerned about being exposed to COVID-19.

'As COVID-19 now recedes from hospitals, a key question is whether enough has been done to reassure people of their safety when accessing care, balanced against the risks of not seeking care.'

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

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