HOSPITAL admissions for seven of the most serious non-coronavirus illnesses fall by 173,000 during the lockdown, new NHS data reveals.
There were nearly 6,000 fewer admissions for heart attacks in March and April compared with last year — and almost 137,000 fewer cancer admissions from March to June.
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The Daily Mail found the trends laid bare by NHS Digital data for England shows similar falls in other admission.
This includes those suffering strokes, diabetes, dementia, mental health conditions and eating disorders.
Health experts warn this could have led to many patients dying or suffering long term harm.
Gbemi Babalola, senior analyst at the King's Fund think-tank told the Mail: "People with some of the most serious health concerns are going without the healthcare they desperately need.
"Compared with the height of the pandemic, the NHS is seeing an increase in the number of patients as services restart, and significant effort is going into new ways to treat and support patients.
"But the fact remains that fewer people are being treated by NHS services."
Cancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell added the Covid-19 pandemic has had a "devastating impact on cancer services and the lives of cancer patients".
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation and a consultant cardiologist, said the statistics showed that people have delayed seeking medical help for their heart attack which risked death or long-term heart damage.
The news comes as a top academic warns the UK faces a second hard lockdown if partying Brits don't follow lockdown rules.
Immunologist Peter Openshaw says Covid-19 "isn't a game" after cases began reappearing in the UK's care homes.
He urged caution amid reports Covid wards have been told they may need to reopen in just three weeks.
Another 3,330 more people have tested positive for coronavirus overnight in the highest Sunday rise since May.
Five more people also lost their lives to Covid-19 as the UK's grim tally rises to 41,628.
From today, it will be illegal to meet in groups of more than six.
Even tougher rules are being enforced in areas such as Birmingham, Manchester and Bolton.
Here residents from different households are banned from seeing each other.
Government sources believe this will soon be imposed nationwide.
Professor Andrew Goddard, of the Royal College of Physicians, said many patients were scared to come to hospital or felt their symptoms were not worth troubling hospitals.
NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: "Our NHS message to the public throughout has been – don't delay, help us help you by coming forward.
"Emergency hospital admissions are now approaching 95 per cent of usual levels with a substantial rebound in routine appointments and operations."
NHS Digital said the majority of the admissions are planned care.
This includes such as surgery or treatment such as chemotherapy rather than patients emergencies.
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