Hospital patients claim they have waited for up to 13 hours in A&E at Watford General as the NHS struggles with the number of people seeking treatment.

Visitors have spoken about waiting times lasting hours and having no option but to sit on the floor as they watch "staff run off their feet".

Watford's A&E department is under severe pressure like many others across the country with the trust that runs it admitting patient demand is "higher" than in previous years.

Just under 40 per cent of those who visited A&E in Watford in April waited more than four hours to be seen, according to figures published by West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

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But when patients were asked on the Watford Observer Facebook page for their recent experiences, some reported delays going way beyond four hours, including ranging from seven to 13 hours.

Aimi Louise Tunnicliffe commented: "I’ve been to A&E twice in the last month, both times with my children for fairly serious things. We’ve had long waits and it’s been extremely busy both times.

"I sat watching the staff work under so much pressure but I cannot fault the care we received."

She added a doctor called up to check on her son in the following days praising the aftercare response.

Sarah Lachlan said: "We visited four weeks ago. The wait was 5 hours. The A&E staff are being pulled in so many directions trying to help with the demand. I take my hat off to them."

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The hospital has been forced to declare several business continuity incidents, the latest only being called off on Friday June 11.

These means resources are redeployed to focus and resolve an issue such as a surge in patient demand in certain areas of the hospital such as A&E.

The trust is one of the lower performing in the eastern region for waiting times and a spokesperson has apologised to patients who experience delays to their treatment

But it is a nationwide issue - according to a new report by The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, on average, 1,047 patients waited 12 or more hours every day in a major A&E department in 2021 in England, equalling a total of 381,991 patients.

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West Herts trust saying the situation is "constantly changing" and says those in most urgent need "will always take priority".

Trust board papers state actions are being developed to cope with demand. Readers attributed staff shortages, difficulty seeing GP's and "overpopulation" as reasons for struggles in A&E.

A West Herts trust spokesperson said: "We are experiencing extremely high numbers of attendances to our emergency department in terms of walk-ins or arrivals by ambulance.

"High attendances are compounded by the need to maintain safe pathways of care for Covid and non-Covid patients. This leads to longer than expected waits in the emergency department.

"We urge people to help us to help them by continuing to access our services appropriately, attend appointments, and by contacting NHS 111 first for urgent care so that they can be directed to the best local service for them.

"You can also access 111 online at "