Labour has called on the Government to convene an emergency summit to find ways to ease the pressures on struggling accident and emergency departments.

The call comes after yesterday’s ‘major internal incident’ at Croydon University Hospital.

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust is just one of the trusts across the country that has been forced to activate a major incident plan to cope with a surge in demand.

Speaking about the crisis yesterday Croydon North MP Steve Reed said: “[This] confirms exactly what local people have been telling me for weeks.

“Under David Cameron, Croydon’s NHS is facing a crisis. “Croydon University Hospital is one of London’s busiest A&E, but they’re now so overwhelmed by surging demand they can’t admit any more patients.

“Only this morning a local woman in her 80s called my office to say that she had waited 12 hours on a trolley bed in a hospital corridor on Saturday night because the A&E was too busy to treat her. “The Government has created an A&E crisis across Britain and, tragically, it’s now hit our local hospital.

“Similar incidents across the country today show the NHS won’t survive another five years of this Government.”

And today David Cameron admitted the NHS is under "pressure" after waiting times in England soared to their worst levels in more than a decade.

The Prime Minister dismissed union claims that the service was "on the brink of disaster" but shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said a co-ordinated plan was urgently needed to address a "rapidly deteriorating position".

Mr Burnham sought to keep up the political pressure over the NHS - which the Opposition has put at the centre of its general election campaigning - after some health professionals warned of a looming crisis.

He has published a letter to Jeremy Hunt accusing the Health Secretary of failing to anticipate the impact of cuts on social care capacity leaving frail elderly people "trapped in hospital" and blaming difficulties getting GP appointments and staff shortages for the delays.

Mr Burnham told ITV's Good Morning Britain (GMB) that health and social care should be brought together as "one budget", saying it did not make sense trying to save money on social care but then spending "thousands" on people who end up in hospital.

He told GMB: "I repeatedly warned throughout this parliament that if you cut social care, if you take away support from older people in their homes, in the end that falls back on the NHS because people end up going into hospital and they become trapped there."

He added: "I think the time has come actually to see them as one budget, not seeing the council (social care) budget and then the NHS budget over here. See them as one budget and start to care for older people very differently. Start in their own homes and support them there."

However, Mr Burnham would not be drawn on whether his party would increase funding if it won May's election.