A charity has warned of a rising number of deaths occurring at home due to people failing to call 999 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stroke Association said the “most at risk” groups are least likely to call 999 when they experience stroke symptoms out of fear they will burden the emergency services.
Its survey found that over 65s are most likely to put off calling for an ambulance for non-Covid-related conditions.
The charity warned that this “stiff upper lip” mentality is causing more people to die at home and urged Britons not to “keep calm and carry on” when it comes to their health.
The warning came after analysis from the Office of National Statistics found that the number of deaths at home was 827 higher than the five-year average in the week ending June 19.
Public Health England also revealed that hospital admissions in England were down 38% in the week ending June 21.
Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: “Stoicism kills and the British sense of ‘keep calm and carry on’ doesn’t save lives. It’s really worrying to see that the people most at risk of stroke are most likely to die at home because they were too frightened of bothering the emergency services – your life matters.
“Stroke is a brain attack. When you see the signs of stroke, you need to raise the alarm right away by calling 999.”