In last week’s Budget the government said it would give an additional £2bn into the NHS to ease the pressure on social care.

Chancellor Philip Hammond also said £100m would be given to A&E departments to combat overcrowding.

Campaigners have said this will fall short of stabilising the NHS.

Speaking to the Independent, Dr Mark Porter, council chairman of the British Medical Association said: “The Budget does nothing to address the gaping hole in the NHS finances.”

“The NHS and social care are at breaking point and we have been failed by party politics for too long.”

It emerged last week the number of patients waiting four or more hours at A&E rose more than 300 per cent in some hospitals.

In total, 2.2 million patients were not seen within the target time in 2015-16 - more than double the one million figure in 2013-2014.

Statistics show demand for A&E rose by a third in the last 12 years, with chronic diseases playing a significant role.

Two thirds of hospital beds are occupied by one third of the population with a long-term problem.

In 2015-16, there were 22 million visits to A&E, up six million from 2003-04.

Mr Hammond said the system was “clearly under pressure” but claimed during last week’s Budget the Tories were “the party of the NHS.”

Additional funding for A&E units was welcomed by King’s College Hospital which said more money will help create other ways of meeting demand.

A spokesperson said: “Like many hospitals across the country, we have seen – and continue to see – increased demand for our services, particularly during the winter months.

“We are currently redeveloping our emergency department at Denmark Hill to create extra capacity for urgent care services.

“More widely across the trust, there are plans in place to create new wards and increase the number of inpatient beds to help meet the demands on all our services.

“Any additional funding the trust receives will help us to fulfil our plans to increase capacity and improve services across our hospitals.”

Speaking earlier this year, Darent Valley Hospital in Kent said it was important to make the best use of all NHS services to ease A&E pressure.

A spokesperson said: “We are asking people in our local community who need non-emergency care to visit their GP, walk-in centre or minor injuries unit to get the most appropriate treatment they need, rather than visiting A&E.

“You will be helping to free more staff to deal with genuine emergencies and lifesaving care provided by A&E. If you are unsure of which service you need, call NHS 111 for advice.”

Over the course of the festive period, Darent Valley treated 8,993 visitors to A&E, a figure that was up from 8,242.