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.
Senior NHS emergency medical consultant admits there is "absolutely a winter crisis."
Around 80% of all nurses hired by NHS hospitals in the past year were recruited from overseas amid a "serious" shortage of UK-based workers.
The Chief Executive for the NHS in Wales is to outline how health boards planning for winter pressures.