Latest performance figures from NHS England show the health service has failed to meet its target to stabilise waiting lists for elective treatment.
Last year, the NHS made a commitment to keep waiting lists for routine care stable and to halve the number of people waiting over 52 weeks for treatment.
Although the number of people waiting over 52 weeks has been halved, the figures show the NHS has fallen short of stabilising the waiting list.
More than 380,000 more people are now on the official waiting list – a rise of 10% to over 4.2 million people waiting.
David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said the numbers paint a troubling picture about the ability of patients to access timely NHS care.
“While we welcome the recent NHS Long Term Plan commitments to increase the amount of planned surgery delivered year on year, including through making use of independent sector capacity, what we now need from NHS England is a clear delivery plan on how to get waiting times down,” he argued.
He said the plan must include using the spare capacity available in the independent sector and communicating much more effectively the legal rights that patients have to choose the best provider for them.