Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt sorry as A&Es struggle to cope

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to patients in England who have had their operations postponed. Non-urgent treatments had already been cancelled until mid-January, but NHS England said on Tuesday that would now be extended to the end of the month.

It came after hospitals reported they were struggling to cope with the surge in patients being seen since Christmas. At least 17 hospital trusts – one in 10 – have declared a major incident in the last 24 hours, the BBC understands.

Bosses said they had been forced into the move as patients were experiencing long waits in A&E and being left on trolleys in corridors because there were no beds available.

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