Record NHS waiting lists point to another health crisis

Responding to official statistics publishing this morning which reveal that NHS England waiting lists are the longest since records began, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said: 

“Waiting times were at a record high before the pandemic and now, alongside worryingly low cancer referrals, they are through the roof. There is another health crisis looming in the UK and people will be rightly worried for their loved ones.

With our health and care services facing an almighty backlog, we need urgent action. The Government must step up with a clear plan on how people will get the treatment they need, including an urgent recruitment strategy, or risk more lives being lost."


  • The number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine hospital treatment in England was more than 1.85 million in June - the highest since records began in August 2007.
  • The number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment in England rose to 50,536, up from 1,089 in June last year, and the highest number for any calendar month since February 2009.
  • The number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 67% in June compared with a year ago while a total of 94,354 patients were admitted for treatment during the month, down from 289,203 in June 2019.
  • A total of 153,134 urgent cancer referrals were made by GPs in England in June 2020, down from 194,047 in June 2019 - a drop of 21%. Urgent breast cancer referrals showed an even bigger drop: down from 14,885 in June 2019 to 8,495 in June 2020, a fall of 43%.

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