The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) says COVID-19 is creating an "epidemic of loneliness."
Speaking to the Guardian, RCGP Chair Martin Marshall commented on cases of people dying alone at home during COVID-19, but whose deaths are going unnoticed
Professor Marshall said: "The COVID-19 pandemic is also creating an epidemic of loneliness, not just for older people, and sadly there are some people who will fall through the net."
"GPs are working hard to check on their patients who are shielding and NHS volunteers have been doing a good job of looking after vulnerable people in their communities. But we are noticing an increase in people dying in the community, often at home and often due to conditions unrelated to COVID-19, such as cardiac arrest,” he said.
"If people are choosing not to seek medical attention for non-COVID illnesses for fear of catching the virus, or because they are worried about being a burden on the NHS, then it is incredibly concerning."
"They can be reassured that the NHS is here for them, and that we will do whatever we can to keep them as safe as possible whilst they are accessing care."
"Wherever possible, we would ask people to check on their neighbours - with appropriate social distancing measures in place - and alert the authorities if they have any concerns,” Professor Marshall said. He added that charities such as Age UK also have excellent tips on how communities can help each other during this difficult time.