NHS waiting lists are now at their highest since records began, as the COVID-19 lockdown continues to prevent patients from getting access to vital care.
Latest figures show that more than 1.85 million people were waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine hospital treatment in England in June.
NHS England statistics show the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment in England also rose to 50,536.
That is the biggest year-long waiting list since February 2009.
Last June, only 1,089 had been waiting 12 months for treatment last June.
The number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 67% in June compared to a year ago.
A total of 94,354 patients were admitted for treatment during the month, down from 289,203 in June 2019.
Doctors’ leaders warned of “worrying times” in the wake of the pandemic.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Council Chair of the British Medical Association, said the figures were “deeply concerning”.
He added they “paint a very bleak picture for the future delivery of patient care if urgent intervention is not forthcoming”.
Thousands of non-urgent operations have been cancelled as a result of hospital capacity being set aside in case of a deluge of COVID-19 patients.
Critics say the move has been over-cautious and could result in widespread and more serious consequences for patients in the longer term.