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Latest NHS waiting list figures revealed as Health Secretary announces independent investigation

The latest figures on the health service (NHS) were released this morning, showing that the waiting list for routine hospital treatment in England has increased for the second month running.

It is estimated that at the end of May, 7.6 million patients were waiting for procedures, and 6.38 million procedures were performed.

This is a slight increase from 7.57 million procedures and 6.33 million patients at the end of April, NHS England said.

The number of people waiting more than 65 weeks to start treatment rose from 50,397 in April to 55,955 at the end of May.

The goal of eliminating this wait has been moved from March of this year to September.

A total of 307,500 people in England were waiting more than 52 weeks to start routine hospital treatment at the end of May, compared with 302,589 at the end of April.

However, the number of people in England waiting more than 18 months to start routine treatment fell from 5,013 in April to 4,597 at the end of May.

The previous Conservative government set a target of eliminating the 18-month wait by April 2023.

Waiting times in the emergency department have also been shortened.

In England last month, 74.6% of patients were seen at A&E within four hours, compared with 74.0% in May.

The number of people waiting more than 12 hours after a decision was made to admit them to hospital was 38,106 in June, compared with 42,555 in May.

New health secretary Wes Streeting has said the NHS is “broken” and today announced an independent inquiry into the health service, to be led by Lord Ara Darzi, who has spent more than three decades in the service.

“We can transform the NHS,” he wrote in The Sun. “But before we prescribe, we have to diagnose the problem.”