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Official figures reveal millions of people are still missing out on NHS care

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Thousands of patients are going without vital NHS treatment as hospitals are still struggling to get services back to normal, figures for England show.

Data realised by NHS England makes for frightening reading, almost 2m patients have been waiting more than the target time of 18 weeks for routine treatment and surgery.

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With much of this year’s NHS manpower having a major focus on Coronavirus, the numbers referred for cancer check-ups and starting treatment are also below the levels seen a year ago.

However, services are starting to see more people than they were in the spring when the pandemic first hit.

Official data released from NHS England show there are currently 4.2 million people on the waiting list for routine treatment, nearly half of whom have waited longer than 18 weeks, which is three times higher than it was a year ago.

Just over 100,000 of the waiting lists patients have waited longer than a year, the highest number for 12 years.

GPs made 169,600 urgent referrals for cancer check-ups in August, down from more than 200,000 the year before.

Just over 20,000 patients started their cancer treatment in August, a drop of a fifth in a year.

The numbers arriving at A&E in September was just below 1.7m, 400,000 lower than September 2020.

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