LONDON, England: England's healthcare problems continue to stack up, as the number of people awaiting routine hospital treatment has risen to the highest level since record keeping began 15 years ago.
Last month, 6.7 million people were waiting to begin treatment at Britain's state-run National Health Service, the highest number since record keeping began in August 2007. This is up from 6.6 million last month and 4.4 million on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, 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 for care, the latest figures show.
As Conservative Party members chose a new leader to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson this summer, the pressure on the health service is just one of the major challenges facing the next prime minister. The new prime minister will also have to deal with surging inflation, industrial strikes and households struggling with a cost-of-living crisis.
Meanwhile, the backlog of cases in Crown Courts is now at its highest in nine months, new data showed. The overall number of cases waiting to be heard in Crown Court has increased from about 39,000 in early 2020, before the pandemic, to over 58,000 in June.