Over the past week, 20 NHS Accident and Emergency departments in England issued diverts, with patients taken elsewhere.
Those A&E departments still taking new patients have seen long delays, with more than 25% of ambulances waiting at least 30 minutes to handover patients.
More than 240,000 calls to NHS 24 went unanswered from September to January in figures described as “astonishing” by opposition parties.
At a time when patients were urged to call the helpline before turning up to A&E, an average of almost 50,000 calls per month to the NHS 111 number failed to be connected.
The highest number of abandoned calls occurred in September 2021 when 68,119 were left unanswered, according to data obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.
Over the festive period, in December, on more than 46,000 occasions callers were unable to speak to anyone.
The Conservatives said that “shockingly” on January 3, very nearly half of all calls (49.7%) were abandoned, accounting for more than 7,000 abandoned calls on that day alone.