48 people have been killed by flu this winter in the UK

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"I would assure Mr Wilson and all of our patients that we are monitoring the situation very closely and working hard to minimise delays".

On the last weekend of 2017, trust senior consultant Richard Fawcett described the conditions at A&E as "Third World" conditions, reporting to have turned up for work to find a 12-hour wait to be seen in A&E with more than 25 patients "on the corridor".

Opposition party leaders criticised the Scottish Government's management of the health service during First Minister's Questions on Thursday.

It comes as official figures released today show the NHS ended the year with the same A&E waiting time performance level in December - 85.1 per cent - as at the start of the year, equalling January's record low and the worst result since the target was introduced in 2004.

Tom Wilson, from Newtongrange in Midlothian, lay bleeding for more than three hours as he waited on an ambulance - and then spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor in A&E.

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OnMedica reports that the organisation said pressures being experienced by front-line health and care services this winter "are a watershed moment for the NHS".

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.

They also suggest a significant raise in the social care funding to allow more beds to be allocated for acute care of the patients and also removal of the patients who are fit to be discharged from the hospital to make space for the incoming rush of patients.

The Scottish Conservatives called for a moratorium to be introduced to halt the decline in hospital beds.

'We are writing to you now as we believe the current winter pressures facing the NHS have brought us to a watershed moment, ' said Mr Hopson.

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"But this SNP government has cut both hospital beds and elderly social care places, so when something like a flu crisis hits, the system breaks down".

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie called the problems "largely predictable" and said they were down to "Nicola Sturgeon's failure to do her job over the last ten years".

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".

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

48 people have died from flu this winter in the United Kingdom after the virus killed 24 people in the last week of 2017, figures released by Public Health England show.

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Leonard raised Mr Wilson's case to the First Minister after his son wrote to the health secretary earlier this week.

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