Almost 1.45m people in England waiting longer than 18 weeks for NHS treatment

The number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for hospital treatment in England is now almost 1.45 million – the highest figure since 2007, figures show.

Data from NHS England shows the number of people having to wait more than 18 weeks to start hospital treatment rose to 1,448,357 million in May this year.

This is more than double the number in May 2019 (576,237) and the highest number for any calendar month since December 2007.

The figure was also a jump on the 1,132,602 recorded for the previous month of April 2020.

Just 62.2% of people were seen within 18 weeks, the records for May show, against a target of 95%.

The figures also show that the number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 82% in May compared with a year ago due to the impact of Covid-19.

A total of 54,550 patients were admitted for treatment during the month, down from 295,881 in May 2019.

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