Doctors have warned that emergency hospital care is on the "brink of collapse" because of the sheer number of patients needing treatment.
The Royal College of Physicians says emergency admissions have risen by 37% over the past decade, but the number of hospital beds has shrunk by a third.
The pressure on services is so intense that one in 10 consultants would not recommend their hospital to friends and family.
Dr Andrew Goddard, a hospital consultant who contributed to the college's report, told Sky News that some hospitals are closing their doors to new patients in summer, once their quietest time of year.
"I have been in hospitals where the hospital is full and everyone is running around trying to create beds," he said.
"The workload is so great and it has been getting worse and worse over last few years.
"Whilst the NHS is a fantastic service it is struggling to cope with the demands on it."
The report says patients are getting older, and are more likely to have dementia and other complex needs, adding to pressure on staff.
It recommends that hospital care is reorganised so that patients are able to have care from experts seven days a week.
That may mean some hospitals have to be closed to pool resources in larger centres, it warns.
Dementia sufferer Nihad Ousta died following treatment at a west London hospital. His family says staff had given him sedating drugs, causing him to fall and bang his head.
His daughter Shadia said: "Their attitude was 'we are going to watch television and hope the drugs we have given to everybody will make them fall asleep for as long as possible'."
"The staff-to-patient ratio was dangerously low. They did not notice people falling over and my sister and I would have to alert them."
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "We are modernising the NHS so it can continue to do more and improve care - putting doctors and nurses, those who best understand the needs of patients, in charge of improving the NHS.
"To properly provide dignity in care for older people, we need to see more care delivered at home and in the community."