Ambulance vehicles at the Royal London Hospital on January 28, 2021. Photo: iStock

The number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to the highest level since records began 15 years ago.

Last month, 6.7 million people were waiting to start treatment, the highest number since records began in August 2007, new data released on Thursday (August 11) showed.

This is up from 6.6 million last month and 4.4 million on the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A record number of people had to wait more than 12 hours in accident and emergency departments after a decision was made to admit them, the latest figures show.

The pressure on the health service is just one of the major challenges facing the next prime minister.

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