Patients are being treated in corridors and extra beds crammed onto wards at Norfolk's biggest hospital after it became the second in a week to declare a critical incident.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was forced to declare the high-alert status earlier this week - the same measure taken by the James Paget in Gorleston.

This is when hospitals become so busy they can only perform certain services and have to prioritise the care they provide.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, bosses have resorted to using "escalation beds" in its wards - when seventh beds are added to six-bed wards.

Ralph Childs, 77, whose wife Sandra, also 77, is being treated at the hospital for cancer said he was left "speechless" after discovering her in a corridor while visiting.

Mr Childs, from Brundall, said: "She came in on Saturday and has received outstanding care - the staff are doing everything they can for her and they take your breath away.

"But when I came in to visit her she had been moved from her ward and was in a corridor.

"It's clearly very, very busy and they just seem to be cramming beds in wherever they can."

The controversial approach has been criticised in the past for limiting the amount of privacy and comfort patients receive - and bosses previously said they hoped it was a measure they would never have to resort to again.

While the hospital was no longer in a critical incident as of Thursday morning, there were still 20 of these additional beds in its wards.

Health bosses have said the NHS is "extremely busy" locally and have urged people only to attend A&E if they have a "genuine emergency".

A spokesman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney said: "We are working hard to improve how patients flow through our hospitals and are discharged once they have received treatment.

"We would ask anyone who has a family member in hospital who is ready to be discharged to speak with staff around how they might be able to provide support such as transport to help them continue their recovery at home."