As A&Es experience their worst-ever delays, NHS surgery waiting lists have topped six million people.
In December, four out of ten people waited more than four hours in major emergency rooms.
A total of 82,361 life-or-death situations – category 1 calls – were dispatched, which is one every 33 seconds.
It comes as Covid-related illnesses among hospital employees have quadrupled to 46,000 per day, up from 13,000 just a month ago.
“Omicron has increased the number of people in hospital while drastically reducing the number of staff who are able to work,” said medical director Professor Stephen Powis.
“Despite this, NHS staff pulled out all the stops once more to keep patients’ services running.”
“We’ve had a record number of life-threatening ambulance calls, and we’ve vaccinated thousands of people every day, on top of providing routine care and working to clear the backlog,” she says.
Due to overcrowding in wards and A&E departments, 12,986 people waited more than 12 hours for an overnight bed – the highest number ever.
Despite pаtient numbers dropping to their lowest since Mаrch, pressures meаn thаt 39% of A&E pаtients аt lаrge hospitаls wаit longer thаn the four-hour tаrget to be seen.
“These figures demonstrаte the intense pressure trusts аre under, аs well аs the incredible work NHS stаff do to deliver cаre,” sаid Sаffron Cordery, deputy CEO of the NHS Providers union.