The Royal College of Physicians has warned politicians that a “crisis of care” in NHS hospitals can “only be avoided by a significant increase in health funding”.

Joining calls for the next government to increase NHS funding to avert an “impending financial crisis”, the RCP said that hospitals were now “under-resourced and under pressure”.

Ahead of the party conferences, the Royal college also urged MPs to pledge not to impose another top-down reorganisation of the health service.

Following the last election, the government moved forward with its widely-criticised plans to reform the health service. The controversial Health and Social Care Act came into force in April last year changing many of the structures in the health service.

The college also challenged politicians to commit to a “free at the point of delivery” health service ahead of the next election.

“The NHS has suffered badly from the instability caused by constant reorganisation, and funding policies that have made it harder for hospitals, GPs and community services to work together to improve patient care,” said RCP president Professor Jane Dacre.

“The next government must commit to a long-term vision that brings joined-up care to patients wherever they are.

“They must also increase funding quickly to safeguard the NHS from an impending financial crisis, and reassure the public that the NHS will remain free at the point of delivery.”