A&E departments in the county have scaled down their highest alert, which led to hundreds of operations being postponed at the beginning of this week.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has moved the alert from level four - the highest - to level three, although is still unable to offer non-urgent operations.

Director of Clinical Services Paul Brennan said: “As of 3pm on Thursday we have been able to step down our operational pressures escalation level from four to three.

“This is due to the measures we have been implementing over the last few days.

“I would like to thank our staff who have been working incredibly hard to provide good care under difficult circumstances over the last few days.”

The Trust has said it will still have additional beds open until the end of the month and postpone non urgent operations to ensure it can cope with all emergency admissions.

Mr Brennan added: “As always, people should only attend a hospital Emergency Department in an emergency.

“If in doubt use the ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app from Oxfordshire CCG to locate your nearest health provider.”

Similar pressures are also being reflected across South Central Ambulance Service as recent figures show there was a 34 per cent increase in 999 calls on New Year’s Eve and New Years Day in comparison to last year.

This year the ambulance service had 3,937 calls, more than 1,000 more than the 2,929 calls in 2016.

SCAS spokesman David Gallagher added there was also an increase in 111 calls including a 17 per cent rise in calls from Christmas Eve to boxing Day and a 12.5 per cent increase during the New Year’s period.