GREAT Western Hospital continues to face extreme pressures and high demand during the winter.

NHS England's latest figures show that 527 patients arrived by ambulance last week - with Tuesday being the busiest day of 85 patients.

Over the week, 25 arrivals waited 30 minutes or more to be transferred to the emergency department despite NHS guidelines saying all patients should be transferred 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 lower than the 97 per cent recorded the previous week.

NHS Improvement says that deterioration in A&E performance begins to accelerate if this figure is 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.

On Sunday, 228 patients had been in hospital for seven days or more, and 67 patients had been in hospital for three weeks or longer.

Norovirus closed off eight beds, down significantly from the 51 beds closed by the virus the week before.

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.”