More people visited A&E last month at Great Western Hospital – but attendances were still far lower than in June last year.

NHS England figures show 7,051 patients visited the accident and emergency department in June.

That was a rise of two per cent on the 6,905 visits recorded during May, but still 42 per cent lower than the 12,080 patients seen last June.

Across England, A&E departments received 1.4 million visits during June. That was an increase of 12 per cent compared to May, but still a third fewer than the 2.1 million during June 2019.

Medical experts have previously raised concerns about people staying away from hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic, with delays to seeking treatment potentially storing up problems for the future.

Dr Simon Walsh, BMA emergency medicine lead, said: “It is crucial that people who are in genuine need of emergency treatment know they can attend hospital to get the care they need, and that it is safe to do so.

“However, with A&E attendances gradually on the rise again the hovernment must ensure that capacity and resources are available, including beds and workforce, so that hospitals can continue to deliver safe and timely care for both Covid and non-Covid patients.”

Hospitals feared the reopening of pubs on July 4 may have led to emergency departments being overwhelmed.

But Dr Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said these fears do not seem to have come to pass.

"We appreciate the common sense of the public and thank the majority for following the rules so that they could enjoy their evening out in a responsible, sensible way," she said.

The BMA said emergency departments have been restructured to allow for social distancing, meaning they are still operating with reduced capacity.

Dr Walsh urged people to use common sense when drinking, warning "we are not out of this pandemic yet".

He added: “If you have to go to A&E as a result of too much alcohol, you not only risk taking up the time of doctors and nurses who could be treating patients whose lives are in danger, but you also risk spreading the virus if you have it but aren’t aware.”

An NHS spokesman said: "Whether you or a loved one have the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, are a parent worried about their child or have concerns about conditions such as cancer, you should seek help in the way you always would.

“Ignoring problems can have serious consequences – now or in the future.”