PERFORMANCE: London Ambulance Service Trust declared a major incident on Monday because of intense pressure on the system.

The trust received over 300 emergency calls an hour, 14 per cent more than predicted levels.

Off-duty staff were asked to come into work to cope with the demand during the evening.

A spokeswoman for the trust said that the increased demand meant that some people who were not in a “life-threatening condition” would have waited longer for an ambulance, and those with minor illnesses would not have been sent one at all.

She said: “We were extremely busy yesterday, receiving more than 300 calls an hour at times, which is 14 per cent more than expected.

“We continued to give priority to our most seriously ill and injured patients. Some people, who were not in a life-threatening condition, will have had to wait longer than normal for an ambulance response and those with minor illnesses or injuries – such as back pain, upset stomachs or small cuts and bruises – will not have been sent an ambulance. Instead they were given advice on how to look after themselves or told where else to seek help.”