A prominent doctor has blasted politicians for allowing the current situation within NHS A&E departments to stew for the past decade.
Data leaked to the BBC has reportedly showed A&E waiting times reached record levels in December. Waiting times for 88% of A&E patients were longer than the four-hour time limit.
Dr Laurence Buckman, a former chair of the BMA's GP committee, called the crisis "predictable" in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer, adding that the problem has been "cooking for the last decade, mainly caused by politicians.
"A&E targets are a joke. This four hour catchall is meaningless.
"We have to stop closing hospitals, stop degrading them, and stop flagging off the doctors, nurses and health service workers.
"The system has gotten so mindlessly bureaucratic. The NHS is being starved."