Attendance at Accident and Emergency departments in England has risen by 11% over the past four years, according to data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Driving the increase was the number of admissions to minor injury units, which has risen at 11 times the rate of population.
The HSCIC's Focus on Accident and Emergency report found over 60,000 per day use A&E services in England and there were 22 million in 2012/13.
NHS England welcomed the report, saying, We know that A&E services are under increasing pressure ... We know that systemic change is needed across our urgent and emergency care system".
NHS national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has said there is a "feeling that this year is worse" in terms of winter pressures on accident and emergency departments.
Sir Bruce, who is due to publish a report next week on the long-term vision for casualty departments, said: "We have some immediate winter pressures. Winter doesn't come as a surprise. It comes every year and every year we plan for winter and we focus on three areas.
"One is to try and reduce the number of people attending A&E, the second is to help hospitals function in a more efficient way, and the third is to reduce the congestion in hospitals by trying to help hospitals get their patients home.
"There is a feeling that this year is worse."
Keogh insisted the NHS had already taken steps to deal with the expected pressures this winter, including the establishment of 147 urgent care working groups and the distribution of £250 million in September to enable hospitals to prepare.
Accident and Emergency departments in the NHS are facing what may be "our worst winter yet" due to a combination of soaring demand, a shortage of doctors and "toxic" overcrowding on hospital wards, a senior consultant has warned.
Bernadette Garrihy, a member of the board of the College of Emergency Medicine, said doctors were concerned about their ability to provide a "safe and quality service" this winter.
Dr Garrihy said Government measures in trying to deal with the issue amounted to a "drop in the ocean", and called for sweeping changes to help ease the pressure on services.
The senior consultant said part of the problem was caused by people going to casualty departments for problems which could be death with elsewhere and urged patients to consider other options before heading to Accident and Emergency this winter.
Almost two-thirds of patients would be "extremely likely" to recommend their A&E according to a new "friends and family" survey.Read the full story ›
I am determined to give patients a far greater voice within the NHS as a way of highlighting the best and worst of care within our hospitals.
With the ‘Friends and Family’ test, we now have a single measure that looks at the quality of care across the country.
I want the NHS to put patient satisfaction at the heart of what they do and expect action to be taken at hospitals where patients and staff say standards are not good enough.
Patients in 36 hospital wards across England would not recommend them to their friends or family, according to a new test designed to shine the spotlight on poor care.
Of 4,500 wards across England, patients who were treated in 36 wards would be unhappy to send their loved ones to receive the same care.
The first wave of the "Friends and Family" test also saw just one English A&E department get a "negative score" - at Chase Farm Hospital, part of the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust, in north London.
Almost 700,000 patients were eligible to take the 'Friends and Family Test' in June 2013 to rate their Accident and Emergency service but only 10% completed the survey.
Almost two-thirds of patients would be extremely likely to recommend their accident and emergency ward in which they were treated to friends and family, according to a survey.
Results for for A&E departments in England for June showed:
- 62.6% would be extremely likely to recommend their A&E service
- 25.6% would be likely to recommend their A&E service
- 4.1% would be neither likely or unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 2.4% would be unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 3.2% would be extremely unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 2.2% did not know