NEW NHS data reveals the immense winter pressures facing Great Western Hospital.

Last week, 527 patients were brought by ambulance to A&E - at its busiest on Tuesday, 85 patients arrived.

Over the week, 25 arrivals waited 30 minutes or more to be transferred to the emergency department – more than the guideline of within 15 minutes. Of these, six patients waited an hour or longer.

General and acute wards at the trust were 96.1 per cent full on average last week – slightly below the previous week's 97 per cent occupancy rate.

NHS Improvement says deterioration in A&E performance begins to accelerate when above 92 per cent.

On average, the trust had 577 beds available to use each day last week, including 53 escalation beds, which are used in emergencies and periods of high demand. Just 23 beds were free on an average day.

Norovirus cases closed 85 beds. On Sunday, 228 patients had been in hospital for seven days or more, while 67 patients had been in hospital for three weeks or longer..

Commenting on the situation across the country's hospitals, an NHS spokesperson said: “Operational pressure on NHS services and their staff have improved somewhat in recent days, but with colder weather predicted and 600 beds lost last week as a result of winter vomiting bugs, the public can help the NHS by taking steps to stay well, and by making use of community pharmacists to get any winter illness seen to before it gets worse.”