NHS waiting times hit all-time high as WHOPPING 7.1 million people await to start hospital treatment
While a record number of people are enduring long waits in A&E until hospital beds are found, new figures show
The waiting list for NHS treatment has hit a new all-time high, while a record number of people are enduring long waits in A&E until hospital beds are found, new figures show.
Data from NHS England shows the health service struggling to keep up with demand, with people facing long waits for key tests, some cancer checks, and routine and emergency care.
The number of people in England waiting to start hospital treatment rose to 7.1 million at the end of September, up from 7 million in August and the highest figure since records began in August 2007.
Meanwhile, 401,537 people have been waiting longer than a year to start hospital treatment, up from 387,257 at the end of August and equivalent to around one in 18 people on the entire waiting list.
Very long waits of more than two years have fallen slightly, while the number of people waiting 18 months for treatment has dropped by almost 60 percent in one year, NHS England said.
But there are serious problems in A&E departments, with the number of people waiting more than 12 hours from a decision to admit them to actually getting a bed rising to a new record high.
Some 43,792 people waited longer than 12 hours in October, up 34 percent from 32,776 in September and the highest number in records going back to August 2010.
The number waiting at least four hours from the decision to admit to admission also reached a new peak of 150,922 in October, up from 131,861 the previous month.
A total of 69.3% of patients in England were seen within four hours in A&Es last month, the worst performance on record and the first time it has dropped below 70 percent.
The operational standard is that at least 95 percent of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, but this has not been met nationally since 2015.