Luton and Dunstable Hospital: The busiest and quietest time of week to visit A&E

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Patients waited an average of six hours and 24 minutes

The busiest and quietest times of the week for accident and emergency services at Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust over the last year have been revealed.

It comes as A&Es across England are at breaking point, with attendance reaching pre-pandemic levels in November and a record proportion of patients facing waits of more than four hours.

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced an additional £3.3 billion in NHS funding to deal with increased demand and soaring inflation.

Luton & Dunstable HospitalLuton & Dunstable Hospital
Luton & Dunstable Hospital

NHS Digital figures show that the worst hour of the week to visit A&E at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was between 3am and 4am on Tuesdays in the year to March.

Patients waited an average of six hours and 24 minutes to be either admitted to an inpatient ward, transferred elsewhere or discharged from hospital.

Meanwhile, the shortest waits were between 8am and 9am on Tuesdays, when patients waited an average of four hours and four minutes.

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Of the seven days of the week, Monday was the worst day overall to visit A&E at Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust, with patients waiting an average of five hours and nine minutes, while Sunday was the best, when the average wait time dropped to four hours and 32 minutes.

Monday saw the highest average number of patients attending across the year, while Saturday saw the lowest.

The figures come as the NHS deals with increasing pressures during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Separate NHS England figures show more than 30% of patients waited more than four hours to be seen at A&Es across England in November – a new record for the third month in succession.

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The Nuffield Trust said a significant factor is the growing number of patients taking up hospital beds as they wait to be discharged because support from health and care social services outside of hospital is not ready.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said he is supporting staff by "investing record amounts into health and social care, including committing an additional £8 billion for health and social care in 2024-25".

He added that some 7,000 extra beds will also be created and £500 million will see 24-7 support centres will be rolled out across England.