NHS England figures show 24,945 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of March – up from 24,251 in February, and 18,802 in March 2021.
Of those, 742 (3%) had been waiting for longer than a year.
The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust was 10 weeks at the end of March – down from 11 weeks in February.
Nationally, 6.4 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of March – the highest number since records began in 2007.
But the number of people waiting more than two years has dropped for the second month in a row.
Separate NHS England figures show that a record 24,138 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in April, from a decision to admit to actually being admitted.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at The King’s Fund think tank, said that unless the Government “grasp the nettle” on health and social care staffing shortages, patients will be left waiting in “discomfort, pain and deteriorating health”.
He added: “The top priority for the NHS is to tackle the longest waits, so it is some comfort to see the number of people waiting over two years for planned care starting to come down.
“This week’s Queen’s Speech identified reducing the backlog of care as one of the Government’s top three priorities.
“But the reality check is that until ministers grasp the nettle on health and care staffing shortages, it will be patients who continue to pay the price by waiting longer in discomfort, pain and deteriorating health.”
Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in March – a rise on 1.5 million in February.
At Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust, 5,537 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.
Of them, 1,081 (20%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.
Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “The latest set of performance data shows that the new “normal” is at an unacceptably poor level for both patients and staff.
“Pressures are at unsustainable levels and, at months where NHS teams hope for a quieter period, worse performance and standards are dominating the horizon."
He added: “This is an emergency which needs recognition, action and support on an urgent basis; it cannot afford to join the waiting list being endured by so many patients.”
Other figures show cancer patients at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust are not being seen quickly enough.
The NHS states 85% of cancer patients urgently referred by a GP should start treatment within 62 days.
But NHS England data shows just 65% of patients urgently referred by the NHS who received cancer treatment at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust in March began treatment within two months of their referral.