MORE than 22,000 people in Barnsley are still waiting for non-urgent treatment at Barnsley Hospital, the latest figures show.

NHS England figures show 22,137 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at the Gawber Road site at the end of April - down slightly from 22,247 in March, but an increase on 21,550 in April 2023.

Of those, 166 had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at Barnsley Hospital was ten weeks at the end of April - the same as in March.

Nationally, 7.57 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of April.

This was up slightly from 7.54 million at the end of March and the first time the NHS waiting list has risen in seven months.

Patricia Marquis, executive director of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Excuses, vague promises and unambitious levels of investment will not get patients the care they need.

“Politicians with their eyes on Number Ten need to wake up to that fact.”

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, added: “Trust leaders and their teams are working flat out to ensure no patient waits longer than they need to receive care, but this increasingly feels like an uphill battle.”

Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in April - the same as in March.

At Barnsley Hospital, 3,230 patients were waiting for one of 11 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 137 had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Other figures show cancer patients at Barnsley Hospital are not being seen quickly enough.

The NHS states 85 per cent of cancer patients with an urgent referral should start treatment within 62 days.

But NHS England data shows just 69 per cent of cancer patients urgently referred to Barnsley Hospital in April began treatment within two months of their referral.

That was down from both 74 per cent in March, and 87 per cent in April 2023.

Mairaid McMahon, policy manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Despite the tireless efforts of NHS staff, people with cancer are being failed by a healthcare system that is not being given the resources it needs to support them.

“A long-term strategy for the cancer care system must be prioritised, so that diagnosis is made early, treatment starts quickly, and support is on hand.”