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Coronavirus: Plea for public to get medical care when they need it

People should seek medical care when they need it and not be put off by the Coronavirus epidemic, say doctors, charities and the health service.

This can be slightly confusing for some of us, as we are still in ‘Lockdown’. But it is important to remember that getting medical help is one of the 4 reasons people can safely leave home, government guidance says.

Half the usual number of people are going to A&E and treatment for heart attacks and strokes is down.

NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis said:

“If you do have symptoms of stroke, chest pain and think it might be a heart attack, a sick child who is deteriorating, if you are a pregnant woman and the baby is not moving as much as it used to – it is important you don’t delay

But he said he wanted to reassure people that A&E departments and GPs’ surgeries had made changes to keep staff and patients safe, for example GPs talking through a patient’s symptoms on the phone before asking them to go into a surgery.

How to get help

Contact your GP practice, use NHS 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help.
Call 999 in emergencies.
Go to hospital if you are told you should.

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