Britain's most senior doctors have today warned the UK needs an extra £7billion of funding every year just to stop the service from getting worse.
The stark warning comes as new figures show Britain's hospitals are £1billion in the red while waiting times have soared.
The chiefs of professional bodies representing doctors and surgeons warned the NHS desperately needs a massive funding boost.
Professor Carrie MacEwen, chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, called for extra money for the NHS ahead of its 70th birthday later this year.
In a letter to The Times, she said: 'We urgently need a settlement for the NHS and social care that goes beyond managing short-term crises, acknowledges the financial deficits and recognises the need to invest in transformation and recruitment.'
Britain's most senior doctors have today warned the UK needs an extra £7billion of funding every year just to stop the service from getting worse (file pic)
Chancellor Philip Hammond has reportedly privately said the health service budget should rise by 2.5 per cent, while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants 3 per cent
The letter, signed by two dozen other heads of medical royal colleges and faculties, adds: Medical royal colleges have consistently called for increased funding for the NHS, public health and social care.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of patients who have waited more than a year for NHS care in England, according to a new report.
More than 2,600 people have waited more than a year for treatment.
And half of the nation's 'best performing' accident and emergency departments failed to meet waiting time standards.
The gloomy numbers are revealed in the latest quarterly performance figures from NHS Improvement.
The document covers 'most challenging winter periods that the NHS has had'.
It shows that at the end of March 2018, 2,647 patients were waiting over a year for treatment compared to 1,513 the previous year.
During the final quarter of the year,