Blackpool hospital worst in country at treating patients within four hours

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust apologised for the delays patients have faced

"I've heard an overwhelming number of reports from clinicians about how flu and respiratory illness, combined with other winter pressures and exceptional and sustained levels of demand, is changing the way they are treating patients arriving at A&E".

He said: "His son called 999 seven times only to be told that an ambulance was coming, not from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary just 14 minutes away, but from Kelso".

People are dying in the corridors of A&E departments, Theresa May has been warned in a letter signed by more than 60 doctors.

According to a spokeswoman from the Department of Health and Social Care as a response to this letter, there is a 68.7% increase in the number of A&E consultants over the past 7-8 years and that "NHS was given top priority in the recent budget with an extra £2.8 billion allocated over the next two years".

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the BMA - the trade union for doctors - had previously said it was "fed up with this government's spin, and patients are too".

"That is an 80-year-old man with underlying health conditions waiting more than sixteen hours for treatment".

"The First Minister has been found out on her NHS spin".

"I am not standing here saying, and we have not said at any stage, that some patients are not waiting longer during these winter times than we would want them to wait".

48 people have died from flu this winter in the United Kingdom after the virus killed 24 people in the last week of 2017, figures released by Public Health England show.

Ruth Davidson has called on the First Minister to stop cutting hospital beds while Scotland is in the midst of a "flu crisis".

The flu rate in Scotland has more than doubled over the past week.

"But this SNP government has cut both hospital beds and elderly social care places, so when something like a flu crisis hits, the system breaks down".

'We have now reached the point where the NHS is unable to meet the standards of care required by the NHS Constitution'.

Meanwhile, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie accused Ms Sturgeon of having a "brass neck".

He added: "We are all proud of our NHS staff in enduring the conditions that have been created by Nicola Sturgeon, but is she really proud of what she has done to our NHS?"

In the letter, sent on Tuesday, they also warn her that the routine overcrowding of hospitals, and the fact that as few as 45 per cent of A&E arrivals are being seen within the target time of four hours at some hospitals, are putting patients' safety at risk.

"As we know, every year and winter the National Health Service comes under additional pressure, and we've seen the extra pressures that the NHS has come under this year", she said.

"Emergency departments saw the highest level of attendances over the festive period in a number of years".

The team also acknowledges the hard work put in by the "dedicated nursing, medical and allied health professional colleagues" and the situation despite the man-hours of work put in behind patient care.

Related news: