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Major incidents declared at hospitals.

A series of ‘major incidents’ were declared remain at hospitals across England at the start of the year as NHS staff struggled to cope with the number of patients.

Hospitals in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Cambridgeshire, London and Surrey were among those affected.

A paramedic in the West Midlands said A&E doors were locked at Royal Stoke University Hospital although this was not officially confirmed.

Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge also declared a major incident. Chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Keith McNeil, said the hospital had been under "extreme pressure" since New Year's Eve.

He said: "We have declared a major incident due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services, with especially high numbers of frail, elderly patients, combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed."

Other hospitals across the country declared major incidents during the first week of January with extra staff being called in to work and, in some cases, surgery cancelled.

Scarborough Hospital declared a major incident on Monday January 5 but downgraded its status on Tuesday afternoon.

A spokeswoman from Royal Bolton Hospital said it had also ‘de-escalated’ its major incident status at on Tuesday although most routine operations on Wednesday January 7 would be cancelled.

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