The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England reached another record high in March.
A total of 6.4 million patients were awaiting treatment that month – a 3% increase on the 6.2 million in February.
One in 20 people are waiting more than a year for treatment, with 306,286 waiting in March, an increase on the previous month’s 299,478.
The number of people waiting more than two years fell from its January high, 23,778, to below 17,000 in April.
An NHS spokesperson said the record waiting list was partly down to the fact “increasing numbers of people are coming forward following the pandemic with 1.8 million people referred for treatment in March”.
Prof Stephen Powis, the national medical director for NHS England, said: “We always knew the waiting list would initially continue to grow as more people come forward for care who may have held off during the pandemic, but today’s data show the number of people waiting more than two years has fallen for the second month in a row, and the number waiting more than 18 months has gone down for the first time.
“There is no doubt the NHS still faces pressures, and the latest figures are another reminder of the crucial importance of community and social care, in helping people in hospital leave when they are fit to do so, not just because it is better for them but because it helps free up precious NHS bed space.”
Source: The Guardian.