The number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high.
An estimated 7.68 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of July, up from 7.57 million in June, NHS England said. It is the highest number since records began in August 2007.
Rishi Sunak has made cutting waiting lists one of his priorities for 2023, pledging in January that “lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly”.
In England 7,289 people are also estimated to have been waiting more than 18 months to start routine hospital treatment at the end of July, up from 7,177 at the end of June.
A total of 389,952 people in England had been waiting more than 52 weeks to start routine hospital treatment at the end of July, up from 383,083 at the end of June.
The government and NHS England have set the ambition of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025. They had set a goal of eliminating waits of more than 18 months by April this year, excluding exceptionally complex cases or patients who choose to wait longer.