NHS waiting lists in England have climbed to a record level, according to new figures that show 7.47 million patients were waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of May, up from 7.42 million at the end of April.
The growing list includes 416,000 children waiting to start treatment – up 9.7% in just one month, and including 21,282 who have been waiting more than a year.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health president Camilla Kingdon said it is “unacceptable” and “unfathomable” to have so many children waiting so long.
However, hospital leaders warned on Thursday they are not confident they will hit key NHS targets to reduce the waiting list in 2024 and 2025.
The figures come during a five-day junior doctors’ strike during which tens of thousands of operations and appointments are expected to be cancelled and ahead of NHS consultants’ strikes where the major of planned care is expected to be paused.
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Source: The Independent, 13 July 2023