NHS waiting lists for routine operations have hit yet another record high of 6.1 million, the first official data for 2022 show, as the pandemic backlog fails to clear. MailOnline has the story.
An additional 30,000 people were on the list for routine operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery in January compared to December.
The 6.1 million figure is the largest since records began and two million higher than when the pandemic hit in 2020, when NHS elective care was effectively frozen for months.
Ministers have come under increasing pressure to get a handle on the crisis with charities warning millions of Britons living in pain while waiting for their surgeries.
The number of people waiting over a year to start treatment increased to 311,528 in January, up from around only 1,400 before Covid hit.
The Government and NHS England have vowed to eliminate all waits of more than a year by March 2025 as part of their pandemic recovery plan.
Almost 24,000 have been waiting at least two years for treatment, up from 20,065 in December, and over nine times the 2,608 who were waiting in April 2021.
These patients will be contacted by the end of the month to be offered alternative appointments in places where queues aren’t as long or in private hospitals. Their transport and accommodation fees will be covered.