Operations cancelled at Preston and Chorley hospitals
About 100 non-urgent operations at two Lancashire hospitals have been cancelled after "unprecedented" demand for urgent care.
Managers at the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals say they have been admitting about 50 patients a day more than usual.
Karen Partington, chief executive of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said staff were working extra shifts.
Training sessions were also halted.
Ms Partington said: "The number of unplanned attendances at hospital increases for periods every winter, and we have plans in place to manage these peaks in demand.
"This year has been unprecedented. For the past three months we have experienced a sustained increase in both the number and complexity of patients requiring urgent care.
"We have extended both clinic and theatre sessions to focus all our efforts in treating patients safely and promptly.
"Despite the measures we have taken, the number of patients who require urgent care and treatment remains at an extraordinarily high and unsustainable level."
She said the backlog will be dealt with and services should return to normal within the next two to three weeks.
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said: "It's stressful enough to go through with an operation, but then to turn up and be told sorry, we've cancelled for a couple of weeks - how on earth do you deal with the backlog?"