The Chief Executive of NHS Wales has warned that there is a risk more operations will be cancelled this winter - as the service works to meet demand.
In an interview with ITV Wales, Dr Andrew Goodall said patients who have their operations cancelled should try and understand that this is done 'for the right reasons at that time'.
Accident & Emergency services are already under strain from increased winter demand, the medical director of NHS England has admitted.
"A&Es are having to address increasing demand, the ambulance services are struggling in many parts of the country and we have a number of issues to deal with, which we are tackling," Sir Bruce Keogh said.
Sir Bruce said forward planning meant the NHS should cope better with a spike in demand for Accident & Emergency services this winter.
"We've started to address winter much sooner than in any of the other years," he added.
NHS England's medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has told an audience at The King's Fund that Accident & Emergency departments "are not all equal."
BK: "A&Es are not all equal. People with serious conditions need care from places with staff and facilities to treat them." #kfurgent
NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has said the system is "creaking and under pressure" as he outlined plans to streamline the service.
NHS England wrote on its official Twitter feed:
BK: the system is creaking and under pressure. We have a number of issues to deal with which we are tackling. #kfurgent
BK: We need a sustainable plan for the future, This year we started our winter planning even earlier.
The chief executive of NHS Wales has warned that high demand on the Welsh NHS during winter can adversely affect services.
Emergency and urgent care services will inevitably experience high levels of demand during the winter months, which can make it difficult for NHS Wales services to deliver all services at all times.
I’m urging the people of Wales to choose well this winter and to only call 999 or attend A&E in a genuine emergency.
The Chief Executive for the NHS in Wales is to outline how health boards planning for winter pressures.Read the full story ›
Staff at one of Britain's biggest ambulance services have told ITV News they are unsure how they will cope with unprecedented demand.Read the full story ›
A Department of Health spokesperson told the BBC:
Official NHS accounts show that use of the private sector amounts to only six pence in every pound the NHS spends, slowing the rate of increase to just one penny since May 2010.
Charities, social enterprises and other providers of healthcare play an important role in the NHS, as they have done for many years.
The BMJ claims campaigners said the findings "provided further evidence that the Government's reforms are gradually accelerating the privatisation of the NHS".
Private sector providers were most successful at winning contracts awarded via competitive tender, the BMJ said, being awarded 41% compared to 30% won by NHS providers.
The BMJ stated that private firms were more likely to win smaller contracts on an any qualified provider basis. The journal said it found concerns among health professionals about "fragmentation of care and a lack of transparency over where NHS funds were being spent".
A third of NHS contracts have been awarded to private sector providers since health reforms were introduced, figures obtained by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) show.
Of 3,494 contracts awarded by 182 of England's clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) since they came into being in April 2013, almost half went to non-NHS providers.
Among these more than 300 went to voluntary and social enterprise sector providers while 100 were awarded to others such as joint ventures or local authorities, according to figures released to the BMJ under the Freedom of Information Act.
Some 33% (1,149 contracts) were awarded to private sector providers, the journal states.