A&E Consultants say 'patients are dying prematurely' after being nursed in corridors

Last month only three quarters of patients were seen within four hours at large A&Es

"We realise that this can cause extra stress and upset when patients are already very unwell".

The consultants spell out a series of problems which are now impacting the NHS, including: thousands of patients waiting in ambulances for hours; more than 120 patients a day managed in corridors, with some dying prematurely; an average wait of 10 to 12 hours for a bed; and more than 50 patients at a time waiting for beds in emergency departments.

However analysis by the BBC showed that A&E waiting time performance in December continued to be better in Scotland than in England, where senior doctors have warned that patients are "dying in hospital corridors".

The signatories are from hospitals including major London teaching hospitals such as the Royal Free, King's College and Guy's and St Thomas's, as well as regional trauma centres such as the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS trust, which runs the Royal Stoke hospital, as well as several of the seven health boards in Wales.

Mrs May said that the cancellation of 55,000 appointments last week was "part of the plan" for the NHS this winter, but said of her Government's response so far "nothing is perfect".

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

She said: "It will take some time for services to recover from the pressures being felt this winter and for the spikes in flu levels to subside".

"And it is about time that the opposition recognised the achievements of those working so hard on the frontline of our National Health Service".

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A spokesperson said: "There has been a 68.7% increase in the number of A&E consultants since 2010, and the NHS was given top priority in the recent Budget with an extra £2.8bn allocated over the next two years".

They included 18-year-old midwifery student Bethany Walker, from Applecross in Wester Ross, who died in hospital last week after her flu virus developed into pneumonia.

They describe the compromise of safety at hospitals as "intolerable" and the NHS as "severely and chronically underfunding", while also publicly apologising to patients for failing to "fulfil our pledge for a safe efficient service".

He said Mr Wilson later spent 13 hours on a trolley in the accident and emergency unit.

"That is an 80-year-old man with underlying health conditions waiting more than 16 hours for treatment".

The Labour leader read an extract from a letter from Mr Wilson's son Michael to Health Secretary Shona Robison, which said: "I am sure you will say that it's got nothing to do with you or the SNP and blame Westminster".

The latest figures from Public Health England (PHE) show the number of flu patients admitted to hospital were two-and-a-half times higher than at the same time previous year.

Liberal Democrat leader Mr Rennie said: "The pressure faced by the NHS has been coming for years, it was largely predictable".

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