A much-loved High Wycombe father who suffered chest pains but was too scared to go to hospital in case he caught coronavirus has sadly died – as healthcare chiefs urged those who need to use A&E to still go.

Meherban Khan, who his devastated daughter described as “happy”, reportedly refused to go to hospital after developing chest pains two weeks ago – because he was terrified of catching the virus.

She eventually managed to convince the father-of-three that an ambulance should be called – but he died three hours after reaching hospital, aged 49.

In an emotional interview with Channel 5 News, Zara Khan told how her father, who lived in Lindsay Avenue, feared if he went to hospital, he “wouldn’t come back”.

She said: “That was his whole fear – ‘I will go and I won’t come back’. He was scared of the pain but he said to me ‘I’ll get through tonight and see how I am in the morning’ because he was that convinced he would be ok.

“You need to go to hospital. As scary as it is, you need to be in the best place in the best hands. The doctors are the only people who can support you in the end.”

Her urgent message comes as bosses at Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reminded residents that the vital services they run are “still here and still safe to use”.

The CCG said attendance at both hospitals and GP surgeries for non-coronavirus illnesses or injuries are “lower than usual” for this time of year.

This has raised concerns that people who should be getting medical advice or treatment may be nervous about using the NHS as medical staff continue to battle the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Tina Kenny, medical director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We understand that sick or injured people may be avoiding coming to hospital, perhaps because they worry about burdening NHS services or being exposed to coronavirus.

“But we are very carefully managing the flow of patients with coronavirus symptoms so they are in separate areas to other patients, keeping everyone as safe as possible.

“So please use your NHS services if you or a loved one needs medical attention – getting the right help at the right time can save lives.”

Latest statistics for Bucks have revealed that 68 people have died in hospital at the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust as of 5pm on Wednesday (April 22).

A week ago, there were 39 deaths. Of 24 trusts within the region, the Buckinghamshire Healthcare trust has the 13th highest death toll.

The number of cases recorded in Buckinghamshire stands at 681 as of 3pm on April 22.