Rishi Sunak was once again forced to deny that the NHS is facing a crisis this weekend, claiming that the service is merely “under pressure”. 

The prime minister has continued to face questions about the state of the health service following increasingly dire warnings from health officials and record-breaking delays.

Close to one in four ambulance patients in England waited more than an hour in ambulances queued outside hospitals before being admitted to A&E in December. Last week Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, warned that between 300 and 500 people are dying each week as a consequence of delays in urgent and emergency care.

The pressures are not limited to emergency care: 7.21 million people are now waiting for NHS treatment in England, including 410,983 who have waited more than a year for treatments that should take a maximum of 18 weeks.

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