Almost 200,000 patients in England are now waiting a year for routine NHS operations, according to the latest data.
By the end of November a total of 192,169 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment with the total NHS waiting list now at more than 4.5 million patients.
In February 2019, the number of patients waiting over a year was just 1,163. The numbers have ballooned because of the widespread cancellations by hospitals during the first and second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
With hospitals seeing increased numbers of critical care patients with the virus hospitals were forced to use operating theatres as makeshift intensive care units and redeploy staff to other areas.