Record 7 million people awaiting hospital treatment, says NHS England | NHS

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The number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has reached a new record.

Seven million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of August, NHS England said.

This is up from 6.8 million in July and is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

A total of 387,257 people in England had been waiting for more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment at the end of August, NHS England said. This represents an increase from 377,689 at the end of July and equates to one in 18 people on the entire waiting list.

Ministers and NHS England have set a target of eliminating all waits longer than one year by March 2025.

Some 2,646 people in England had been waiting for more than two years to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August, NHS England said.

This is down slightly from 2,885 at the end of July and a peak of 23,778 in January 2022.

The government and NHS England have set an ambition to eliminate all waits longer than two years, except where it is the patient’s choice or for complex cases requiring specialist treatment, by July this year.

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