This makes it the busiest day for the hospitals so far this winter.

Health bosses say demand typically rockets when temperatures plummet.

There has also been a spike in the number of very poorly people arriving at hospital in recent months.

Dr Luci Etheridge, Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, said: “Our hospitals are stretched, and we are under extraordinary pressure.

“Our priority is to ensure our sickest and most seriously ill patients – of which there are many – receive the care they need. And while we are doing everything we can to provide that care against a backdrop of pressures, the public can also play a significant part in helping us by using NHS 111 online if they need urgent health advice.”

Dr Beccy Suckling, Chief Medical Officer for Epsom and St Helier, said: “It’s a common misconception that going to an emergency department when it’s not an emergency means you’ll be seen more quickly. You will, in fact, be waiting longer, and could even be redirected for care.

“When it’s not an emergency, NHS 111 online can signpost you to the best place for care. But prevention is just as important and one of the best ways you can protect yourself and others is by getting vaccinated this winter. It’s not too late to get your flu and Covid jabs, and if your child hasn’t had their MMR vaccine to protect against measles then I’d strongly urge you to look at that, too.”