A lack of Government support has been blamed for mounting pressure on local NHS services.
This week, The Gazette revealed the number of patients left waiting for 12 hours or more at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s A&E department had soared to 1,201 last year.
Across the North West, several hospitals declared major alerts during the first week of 2017 due to unprecedented pressure.
While the Vic was not among them, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Preston Hospital, was.
Estephanie Dunn, regional director of the Royal College of Nursing in the North West, said: “The long term implication of maintaining the system at these unprecedented levels is unrealistic and dangerous as highly skilled nursing staff will be no longer be willing to work in the service and the NHS will no longer deliver an appropriate service to patients.”