Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS waiting list hits 14 year record high of 4.7 million people

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 15 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n995
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London, UK

Pressure is growing on the government to take urgent steps to tackle waiting time figures for the almost five million people seeking hospital treatment in England—a number that has reached a record high.

The latest referral to treatment statistics1 from NHS England published on 15 April show that 4.7 million people were waiting to begin treatment at the end of February this year—the highest number since records began in 2007. Of those 4.7 million people, 387 885 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks for routine operations and procedures, which was an increase from 224 205 in December 2020. It is also the highest number since December 2007. …

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