NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh suggested there are likely to be more pressures on A&E departments next winter.
Speaking after figures showed that many had hospitals failed to meet their target of seeing 95% of A&E admissions within four hours, he said:
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."
NHS England's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh will unveil a £2 billion plan to address the drop in quality of care in the NHS on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Keogh looks set to announce the recommendations on Sunday after a year-long inquiry into NHS care.
It is understood Sir Bruce will call for changes to increase the number of senior doctors working on weekends after research found that 4,400 lives a year are lost largely because of inadequate staff cover.
Prof Sir Bruce Keogh said the proposals were about "improving outcomes" for patients.
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.
Figures showing that patients in NHS hospitals are 45 per cent more likely to die in hospital than patients in the US should be used to improve performance, according to the Medical Director of NHS England.
Sir Bruce Keogh said he wanted to use the figures to tackle the issue instead of disregarding any evidence deemed too "inconvenient or embarrassing".
"I want our NHS to be based on evidence. I don't want to disregard stuff that might be inconvenient or embarrassing", Keogh said during an interview with Channel 4 News.
"The HSMR exposed things in Mid Staffordshire and people spent a lot of time arguing about the methodology, about the data. In the meantime bad things were happening. I don't want to be in that business."
Mr Keogh promised to bring the data to the attention of clinical leaders in England to see how the NHS can tackle the problem and improve care.
Sir Bruce Keogh - the most senior doctor in the NHS - was asked to look into the fourteen NHS trusts where his teams collected all the data and all the statistics they could before publishing their findings in great detail on the NHS Choice's website.
What will be new tomorrow is what happens next to these trusts.
What Sir Bruce Keogh did was he formed little review teams of medics, patients, regulators that went to visit each of those hospitals over a day or so.
They walked the wards, they talked to patients, they interviewed the chief executive and then they had what they call a "risk summit" where they hammered out future plans for the hospitals.
The report due to be published tomorrow is understood to run to over 1500 pages.
Clearly there has been alot of political debate over these statistics.In addition to the plans of action that are going to be published tomorrow, Sir Bruce has written a section on his overarching thoughts for whats going wrong in the NHS.
Why have some hospitals fallen so badly behind and why have others avoided this?
I think that will have a much greater long-term influence for the individual plans for those 14 hospitals.