Almost 300 given medical assistance around route of queue to see the Queen

·3-min read

Ambulance teams treated almost 300 members of the public along the route of the queue to see the Queen lying in state and surrounding areas, on the day the line formally opened.

Some 291 people along the route of the queue and nearby in London were given medical assistance on Wednesday, with 17 needing hospital treatment, London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

Wednesday saw members of the public line the streets to see the Queen’s coffin leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Hall, while thousands began the long process of queuing to see the Queen lying in state.

An LAS spokeswoman said: “Working with our partners, we cared for 291 patients yesterday up until midnight along the lying-in-state queuing route and surrounding areas, including Hyde Park, Whitehall and Millbank.

“Seventeen of these patients were taken to hospital.”

Over coming days tens of thousands of people will wait in line for hours for the chance to see the Queen lying in state.

Government guidance advises prospective queuers they will need “to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving”.

A separate, shorter, accessible queue is available for people with a disability or long-term condition, who have specific needs or are unable to stand for an extended period of time.

St John Ambulance said its volunteers and healthcare professionals have cared for more than 400 people around Buckingham Palace and other sites since it started providing 24-hour medical support last Friday.

More than half of these – 235 people – were treated on Wednesday in London and Windsor.

A small number of patients presented with medical emergencies and needed hospital treatment, the charity said, and the most common complaints were blisters, dehydration and feeling faint.

The charity has 30 treatment centres in London, including along the route to the lying in state at Westminster Hall.

Some 600 St John Ambulance volunteers are on hand along with hundreds of other volunteers, stewards, marshals and police officers.

The charity said it is “proud and privileged” to be providing first aid, and is issuing advice on how queuers can ensure they are prepared.

It recommends people pack extra clothes, such as multiple thin layers, socks and waterproofs, an umbrella which can also be used as a sunshade, comfortable shoes and blister plasters.

Queuers should also ensure they have plenty of food and water to keep hydrated, eat and drink regularly, and have enough medication if needed.

Dr Lynn Thomas, St John Ambulance’s medical director, said: “This is a difficult time for many, and the news can affect people in different ways.

“So look out for one another, and if you’re upset and struggling emotionally, please do reach out for help and talk to someone.

“Lastly, but most importantly, please head for a St John Ambulance treatment centre or look out for one of our volunteers if you or someone you’re with is injured or feeling unwell.”