Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust experienced its "most challenging day in its history" last week, according to Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe.

On Monday, November 4, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was reportedly short by 122 beds, making it the worst in the trust's history, and the hospital also spent several days on Level 4 (Black) internal alert.

Mr Thorpe visited the Woolwich hospital earlier this week along with Cllr Averil Lekau to meet with the chief executive of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust to "discuss recent issues."

In a series of tweets, the council leader said that corridors in the A&E department had been converted to provide additional beds within the hospital.

He also said that a bed management meeting had taken place to try and find a solution, and paid tribute to the staff working across the trust.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “During the winter months, our hospitals face considerable pressure due to increased emergency admissions for respiratory and other conditions brought on by cold weather and viruses. We work closely with our partners in primary care and adult social services to manage demand on hospital services."

The spokesperson explained that when the trust declares a Level 4 Black on the Emergency Department Full Capacity Protocol, it means the emergency department is experiencing very high demand and triggers an internal process.

They said: “The Full Capacity Protocol has four levels: black (the highest), red, amber and green. Thanks to the hard work of our staff, both Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University Hospital Lewisham are currently on green (our lowest level of escalation)."

In another tweet, Mr Thorpe commented that a hospital built for 100,000 people cannot deal with 177,000 turning up.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, located on Woolwich Common, was opened in 2001 to replace Greenwich District Hospital and Brook General Hospital in serving residents in Greenwich and Bexley.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust stressed the need for people to use the appropriate health services so staff are available to provide timely treatment to those who need it most.

ED is for serious, life-threatening health concerns needing urgent medical attention, whilst less-urgent cases can often be dealt with by a pharmacist, NHS 111 or by booking an appointment with their GP.