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British Red Cross Calls Hospital Overcrowding in the UK a "Humanitarian Crisis"

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The British Red Cross has called overcrowding in the U.K.'s A&E (accident and emergency) rooms a "humanitarian crisis."

The charity said the British government needed to allocate funds for health and social care in order to "adequately address the pressures faced by A&E departments."

Mike Adamson, British Red Cross chief, said the charity was called in to assist the National Health Service (NHS) to free up beds. Volunteers were sent to "improve the flow of patients" as hospitals have struggled to release patients because of inadequate care available at home.

"The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country," Adamson said.

The NHS rejected the charity's claims of a crisis in England's hospitals, but according to BBC, an NHS England specialist director admitted demand at hospitals was at its highest level ever. Prof. Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care at NHS England, told BBC any money from the government "should be directed at social care in the community."

"That will help the NHS more than anything else at the moment," he said to BBC.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was "unprecedented" for the NHS to be criticized by the Red Cross.

"We have healthcare as a human right in this country and that's what the NHS is for," he told BBC. "The NHS needs the money, now, in order to care for everybody."

Corbyn called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to explain to members of parliament "how she plans to fix her failure on the NHS," according to BBC.

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