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NHS waiting list hits record 6.4 million

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A new high of 6.4 million people in England were waiting for routine NHS treatment in March 2022, as 12 hours waits in A&E hit an all time high last month and ambulance services continued to struggle.

This is up from 6.2 million in February and is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

A new record of 24,138 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E after a decision to admit them had been made in April.

The figure is up from 22,506 in March, and is the highest for any calendar month in records going back to August 2010.

However the number of patients being seen within four hours in April improved compared to March, with 72.3% of patients seen in this time compared to 71.6%.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “Today’s figures show our hardworking teams across the NHS are making good progress in tackling the backlogs that have built up with record numbers of diagnostic tests and cancer checks taking place in March, as part of the most ambitious catch up plan in NHS history.

“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."

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Source: The Independent, 12 May 2022

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