Immigrants who can't speak English are being sent to the FRONT of NHS out-patient queues...while locals are left waiting in clinics for hours. Patients who need interpreters are being given priority by hospital trusts—because bosses reckon it's cheaper than having costly translators hanging about. It means that at busy times non-English speakers are instantly shunted to the front of the queue. But the policy has infuriated patients' groups, who claim it shows ordinary Britons are being discriminated against. At one outpatient clinic—the London Chest Hospital, at Bethnal Green in the East End— signs clearly warn visitors: "Patients needing trust interpreters will be given priority." Locals are outraged at the move by London and Barts NHS Trust, which runs the Chest Hospital. One said: "It should be a case that those in most need go first—not because of what language they may or may not speak. "Having to wait longer just adds to people's stress and anxiety, when they are already under a lot of pressure." Another added: "I don't understand why needing someone to translate for you should make you any more important. It's a very unfair system." But Michael Summers, vice-chairman of the trust's Patients' Association, said: "There are always long queues for outpatient services, sometimes as much as four hours, and hospitals don't want to have to keep paying a translator for all that time. "At the same time, I can appreciate why patients become irritated by this." Trust spokeswoman Marie Mangan said: "Like most NHS Trusts, when a clinic is over-running every effort is made to ensure that those patients who are using trust interpreters are seen at their allotted appointment time." The policy comes after a major government report revealed how so-called health tourism costs the NHS more than £62MILLION a year, more than half of which is never recovered. Recent figures also show that a staggering £100MILLION is being spent every year on translators in the public sector. Anti-waste group The Taxpayers' Alliance said: "It's rubbing salt in the wound when people see the NHS struggling— and at same time, the British taxpayers who fund it are never being put first."