The backlog of people waiting more than two years for a routine operation in England has shrunk from 22,500 at the start of the year to fewer than 200.
NHS England figures show the number of patients waiting that length of time has fallen to just 168, excluding more complex cases.
Staff have been praised for carrying out the NHS elective recovery plan, published this year to tackle backlogs built up during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the start of the year, more than 22,500 people had been waiting two years or longer for scans, checks and surgery. A further 51,000 who would have