Hospital bed shortage
A major incident has been declared at Scarborough Hospital Getty

A "major incident" has been declared at Scarborough Hospital due to an unprecedented demand for its accident and emergency services.

Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has apologised to patients who have had their surgeries and procedures postponed because of the high demand in services.

"While the winter months are traditionally a busy time for all hospitals across the country, we have been experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand for our services and we have today reached a point in Scarborough where we have needed to enact our major incident plan, " he said in a statement.

"Today in particular we have had people waiting in the emergency department before being admitted to a bed and we need to make sure that our hospital beds and resources are saved for those who need them most.

"We have also had to postpone some planned surgery and other procedures, and we apologise to those patients affected by this."