Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at the Wye Valley Trust in August, figures show.

In response to rising numbers across England, health charities have urged both major political parties to focus on cutting waiting lists.

NHS England figures show 23,571 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Wye Valley NHS Trust at the end of August – up from 22,552 in July, and 19,665 in August 2022.

Of those, 1,585 (7%) had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at the Wye Valley Trust was 14 weeks at the end of August – down from 15 weeks in July.

Nationally, 7.7 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of August.

The Nuffield Trust said it was alarmed by the most recent figures, with chief executive Thea Stein cautioning progress on cutting waiting times had "stagnated".

"Bringing down record waiting times is a central pledge of both main political parties but achieving this task still looks a long way off. It’s an unavoidable truth that whoever takes power at the next election will need to spend more on the NHS and healthcare," she added.

Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in August – the same as in July.

At the Wye Valley Trust, 4,695 patients were waiting for one of 13 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 1,285 (27%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Other figures from NHS England show that of 81 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at the Wye Valley Trust in August, 57 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

A month previously – when 68 patients were referred – 47 were treated within 62 days.

In August 2022, 59 patients were treated within this period, out of 92 that were referred.

The Health Foundation also urged political parties to focus on long-term solutions.

Tim Gardner, assistant director of policy at the charity said: "Today’s data shows that despite the huge efforts of NHS staff to reduce waiting lists, patients are still experiencing unacceptably long waits for hospital treatment."

"Both major political parties have stressed their resolute commitment to the NHS in recent weeks. However, a national crisis over a decade in the making means that campaign slogans must be matched by concrete plans for improving care, retaining staff, and reforming our neglected social care system," he added.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the NHS was facing increased pressure – with the busiest September ever for 999 calls, alongside ongoing industrial action.

However, he added: "Despite this pressure, it is clear from today’s figures that NHS staff are working incredibly hard to deliver for patients, with 10% more patients coming off the waiting list in August than the same month before the pandemic."