Epsom and St Helier Hospitals ran out of beds earlier this month, and on another day St Helier closed a section of its A&E for an hour.

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NHS statistics revealed on Monday, December 7 all 668 beds within the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust were occupied.

All but one bed was taken the following day, as it was three days later on Friday, December 11.

In the same week - on three occasions - the trust had only one bed free for patients in adult critical care.

And on Friday, December 4 St Helier Hospital had to divert ambulances to other A&E departments for an hour on one day according to an NHS England Situational Report, a weekly report carried out throughout the winter by NHS England.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "The divert was not related to capacity and, importantly, it wasn’t a temporary closure of the whole A&E unit.

"It only applied to patients who may have required treatment in the resuscitation area of the department, with ambulances diverted for 60 minutes."

Epsom and Ewell borough councillor Eber Kington said it was part of a wider national problem as hospitals across the country struggle with seasonal health problems.

Coun Kington said: "The Government is saying it’s putting more money into this sort of thing but the evidence on the ground is that it’s still not working.

"It does not bode well for the start of 2016.

"The cold weather makes you worried about people both getting sick and slipping and injuring themselves - and how the hospitals will cope."

Besides Epsom and St Helier, in the week beginning December 7, three London hospital trusts ran out of beds, two had to divert ambulances and others had to partially close wards as the winter vomiting bug placed pressure on the NHS.

Last month Surrey Downs and Sutton Clinical Commissioning Groups handed Epsom and St Helier Trust its biggest-ever funding boost in an effort to stave off financial meltdown over Christmas.

Children’s services, weekend support and A&E is benefitting from £1.8m in winter funding.

The funding has provided additional nursing and medical staff in the A&E, additional nursing, medical, therapy, phlebotomy and radiology staff over the weekend and additional medical and nursing staff in children’s services.

At the time the trust’s chief operating officer Jackie Sullivan said: "We are already seeing increases in the number of patients that need our services.

"We have to prepare for that demand to grow even further over the coming months, as people are more likely to pick up respiratory conditions that need hospital treatment or are at increased risk of injury due to icy and slippery conditions.

"Every year we tailor plans so that we can anticipate and deal with any surge in demand during winter, and that is the approach we are taking again this year."