The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (the "College") has responded to today's NHS digital statistical report on Accident and Emergency data for England. There was a 56.6% drop in A&E attendances in April 2020, compared to April 2019 - the lowest since records began. In the year from April 2019 to March 2020, 22.6 million A&E attendances were recorded.
The College believes that this is likely to be linked to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and that public messaging must be very clear that the NHS is open for business in England. 
Health and care workers have become concerned that if people feel they cannot attend A&E when they need to, the problems for the NHS in England could pile up.
And the College believes that the devolved administrations must also swiftly but carefully resume planned medical procedures, including cancer services - backed by clear public messaging.
People in all parts of the UK must feel secure that their risk of contracting COVID-19 is as low as possible when coming into contact with care facilities, healthcare workers, or other patients.
Similarly, those working in health and care must not be put at any additional risk through unprotected contact with patients or their families.
A mainstay in achieving these aims is the extension of the availability of testing, for patients and staff alike. The provision of appropriate PPE remains vital to staff and patient safety.