Nearly 90% of hospital beds in England are full as hospitals try to cope with the demands of Covid in addition to normal winter pressures.
Ambulances queuing to offload patients, staff sickness and a lack of beds mean hospitals are "at a really dangerous point", say emergency doctors. This could result in some trusts facing the decision to stop non-Covid work.
Rises in hospital admissions are particularly affecting areas in the south.
The percentage of NHS hospital beds which are occupied is increasing and has reached almost 89% in England for the week ending December 13.
This is the highest occupancy rate so far this year - it's still lower than the same time last year, although the extra burden of Covid is likely to make hospitals feel they are much busier.
A safe level for bed occupancy is below 90% but nearly half of NHS trusts report a figure currently higher than this - the largest proportion this season.
Source: BBC News, 19 December 2020