Nearly 163,000 Brits waiting more than a year for hospital treatment at the end of October — up from 1,321 last year

A TOTAL 162,888 Brits had been waiting more than a year for hospital treatment at the end of October, up from 1,321 the year before.

The figure is the highest for any month since 2008, NHS England figures show.

The waiting list fell from 4.45million to 4.44million, mainly because of the 4million fewer referrals for hospital care since March.

Many people have not seen a GP or visited hospital for fear of contracting Covid.

The number admitted for routine treatment was 27 per cent down in October year on year, and there were 1.5million A&E attendances last month against 2.1million in November last year.

The Royal College of Surgeons said the “national crisis” could take two to three years to tackle.

The NHS urged people to seek care when needed.

Prof Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, warned patients are being left in pain unable to carry on with “day-to-day life”.

Sarah Scobie, from the Nuffield Trust think tank, said: “These figures show the enormous impact that the pandemic is having on non-Covid-19 care.

“This build-up will take time to work through but sadly could be just the tip of the iceberg, with those people not coming into the system storing up greater care needs in the future.”

A spokesman for the NHS, said: “Our message remains that people should continue to come forward for care when they need it.”

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