NEARLY 225,000 patients have waited more than a year for an NHS op, official figures reveal.
Long delays for procedures such as hip and knee surgery are now at their worst level since 2008 because of Covid.
In April 2019, just 1,467 patients faced a delay of more than 12 months.
NHS statistics show a record 4.52million were waiting for non-urgent ops in December.
Meanwhile, 100,000 fewer heart procedures and operations were performed in England in 2020 compared with the previous year.
And the figures show 350,000 patients in England had been waiting more than six weeks for a key diagnostic test in December.
They include checks such as an MRI scan, ultrasound or gastroscopy.
The figure is more than eight times higher than those facing the same delay a year ago.
The Health Foundation has warned that many of the patients on waiting lists could become sicker as a result of the delays.
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