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Some 5.98 million people were waiting for surgery such as hip and knee replacements and gallbladder removals at the end of October. Those having to wait more than 52 weeks stood at 312,665, up from 300,566 in September and nearly double the 167,067 in October last year.

For 16,225 in England it was more than two years ‑ six times the 2,722 in April.

Overall, 255, dewalt 18v dewalt lithium drill doa 128 patients were admitted for routine treatment in England in October.

This was up 10 percent from a year earlier, when it was 232,466 as the pandemic bit. Before Covid, in October 2019, this was 317,992, said NHS England.

The total number waiting for trauma and orthopaedic treatment, which includes operations such as hip or knee replacements, topped 700,000 for the first time.

Tracey Loftis, of the charity Versus Arthritis, said: “Long waits for treatment are having a huge impact on the physical and mental health of people with arthritis, as well as many having to bear a significant financial cost in managing their condition.

“Latest NHS figures illustrate the scale of the challenge, and we are deeply alarmed at the increasing numbers waiting for over two years.”

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