Read our analysis on NHS waiting lists.

The number of people waiting for NHS treatment in England has risen rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 7.2 million incomplete treatment pathways in December 2022.

The graph below shows the size of the NHS waiting list since comparable records began in August 2007. It shows a particular rise in the number of people waiting more than 18 weeks, the NHS waiting target.

    While the number of people waiting has risen by more than 2 million since the start of the pandemic, this is much less than the amount of care that was missed.

    You can read our previous analysis of what could explain these missing patients, and what could happen to waiting lists in the coming years, below.