Attendance at A&E departments across Scotland has more than halved in one month, with health secretary Jeane Freeman warning people not to ignore early signs of serious illness.
New figures released by ISD Scotland show the number of people attending emergency departments dropped to 11,263 in the week ending April 5, compared to 26,710 in the week ending March 8.
The figures overlap with the coronavirus lockdown, and Freeman urged people to attend hospital if they have to.
She said: “While members of the public are continuing to listen to advice and only going to A&E if illnesses are immediate or life-threatening, I would like to remind people not to ignore early warning signs of serious conditions.
“If you have new symptoms then it’s vital you get this checked out either by contacting your GP, or if symptoms are urgent by attending A&E.
“We are working closely with health boards and partnerships to ensure robust plans are in place to strengthen capacity and minimise the impact of Covid-19 across the health system.”
The drop in numbers corresponded with a rise in the amount of attendees seen within the Scottish Government’s four hour target.
According to the figures, 92.7% of those attending A&E were seen within the target period, the highest number since the week ending May 20 2018.
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