Shock at queues for Luton and Dunstable Hospital's A&E department

Couple had to queue for an hour before being triaged

A couple have spoken of their shock at long queues of people waiting to be seen at Luton and Dunstable Hospital's A&E department.

They were there on Monday at around 4pm after being told by their GP that the husband should attend, to check for suspected appendicitis.

But they were shocked at the queues (pictured below), which went out of the front doors and into a newly covered walkway, They spent at least 20 minutes in the queue, not moving.

The queue at A&E on Monday at about 4pm

The wife, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Although we’re still amidst a pandemic we should not be queuing for an hour just to be triaged. Half the people here are not here for a medical emergency, just people who aren’t getting seen by their doctors, so where do they go… A&E!!!"

Cathy Jones, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We are working closely with our partners in the NHS and social care to respond to the current high demand for services. Both our emergency departments are very busy and patients with the most urgent clinical needs are being prioritised. This means that patients requiring less urgent treatment will wait longer.”

She added: “Please remember you can call 111 or use the online service day or night to get urgent health advice and support quickly, and closer to home.”

Covid cases have started to rise again in both Luton and Central Bedfordshire. There were 817 confirmed new cases in the town last week, a rise of 208 on the previous week. Across Central Bedfordshire there were 965 cases, a rise of 120 on the previous week.

The queue at A&E on Monday at about 4pm

NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG has been approached for comment.

What's your experience of A&E lately at the L&D? Have you found issues trying to see or contact your GP? Email [email protected]