The SAM represents doctors who care for patients admitted to hospital as medical emergencies but who do not need surgery.
"We expect these pressures to continue and there are early signs of increased flu prevalence", he explained. It will see up to 50,000 routine operations axed.
"East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has spent a number of weeks preparing our services in the run up to winter".
Officials have confirmed that seven operations have been cancelled at the Gayton Road site today, following national media reports of a major crisis in the service. The union Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said the Government had "failed" to provide sufficient funding for one of the nation's proudest achievements.
He explained: 'A ward might have 20 patients in 20 beds but it might be expected to take an extra two or three patients on trolleys placed in the middle of the ward or outside in the corridor'.
Last night, Dr Taj Hassan, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: 'Last winter we said, "This is the worst in 15 years". Chief executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals Mel Pickup said the overcrowding and pressures now faced by hospital staff were the worst in 30 years.
It said "high levels of respiratory illness", a rise in the number of flu cases and an increase in patients arriving at A&E with serious health problems had been noted over the festive period.
"Instead of running scared, Jeremy Hunt must answer for his party's sustained underfunding of our NHS which has already caused such misery right across the country".
Office workers have been volunteering to help out colleagues in hospitals and GP practices by taking on administrative and cleaning roles over the next five days. "This is the busiest week of the year for the NHS".
The MP for South West Surrey also paid tribute to the NHS staff working in "very tough conditions".
A London doctor tells Sky News what it is like to work in an overstretched NHS hospital where he says medics are desperately trying to treat hundreds of patients with not enough space to do so.
I want to tell them that so am I. So are all healthcare workers.
Mrs Griffiths said: "Our teams have worked extraordinarily hard this Christmas and New Year and, despite the very challenging circumstances, they have done it, yet again, with exemplary skill, kindness and compassion".
Winter is always a busy time for the NHS, and we would urge people to remember that our hospital A&E departments are for emergency care only.
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