A Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation programme

NHS performance summary

The latest NHS performance data, updated monthly.


  • The waiting list for elective care continues to grow: as of June 2022, 6.7 million patients were waiting for planned hospital treatment.
  • In June 2022, over 350 thousand patients had been waiting over a year to start elective care.
  • Performance against the two-month cancer waiting time target is the worst on record. In June 2022, 40% of patients waited over two months to start a first treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral.
  • In July 2022, A&E waiting times were the worst since records began. 29% of people attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.

The analysis below includes the latest data on key activity and performance measures from June and July 2022, as published by NHS England on 11 August 2022. This includes data on the NHS's performance against some key targets, including some of those set out in the latest planning guidance, as well as other indicators of patient safety and care.

Planned hospital treatment and diagnostic test waiting times

  • The waiting list to start consultant-led elective treatment increased to over 6.7 million in June 2022, the highest level since records began.
  • The number of people waiting over 52 weeks to start elective treatment increased to 355,774 in June 2022: one in 20 people on the total waiting list. This is much higher than before the pandemic – in June 2019, 1,089 people on the waiting list had been waiting over 52 weeks.
  • The number of people waiting over two years to start elective treatment decreased to 3,861 in June 2022.
  • The percentage of people waiting over 6 weeks for a diagnostic test increased to 27% in June 2022; this compares to 4% in June 2019.

For more information, see our treatment waiting times and diagnostic waiting times indicators.

Cancer waiting times

  • In June 2022, 40% of patients who had their first treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral waited longer than two months. This is the highest recorded proportion of patients missing the two-month wait target.
  • 5,712 patients waited longer than two months from an urgent GP referral to first treatment of cancer in June 2022, 72% higher than the target to return the number of people waiting longer than 62 days to the level in February 2020 (3,316).

For more information, see our cancer waiting time targets indicator.

Emergency care

Ambulance response times

  • For Category 1 incidents (life-threatening), the average ambulance response time increased to 9 minutes 35 seconds – the 7-minute target was last met in April 2021.
  • In July 2022, the average ambulance response time for Category 2 incidents (emergency conditions such as stroke or heart attack) rose to 59 minutes 7 seconds – 41 minutes longer than the 18-minute target. One in 10 people waited longer than 2 hours 11 minutes.
  • For Category 3 incidents (urgent conditions that require timely medical treatment), on average patients waited 3 hours 17 minutes for an ambulance, with one in 10 patients waiting over 8 hours 21 minutes.

For more information, see our Ambulance response times indicator.

A&E waiting times

  • In July 2022, 29% of people attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge – this compares to 14% of patients in July 2019.
  • Trolley waits – the time between a decision to admit and a patient being admitted – remain at very high levels. In July 2022, 136,221 people had a trolley wait of over 4 hours and 29,317 people waited over 12 hours.
  • There were around 2.16 million A&E attendances in July 2022, 4% lower than in July 2019.
  • Emergency admissions via A&E were 12% lower in July 2022 (366,154) than before the pandemic in July 2019 (415,693).

For more information, see our A&E waiting times indicators.

About this data

During this unprecedented time for the health service, QualityWatch continues to provide independent scrutiny of the health and social care system. The most recent data published today reflects changes in access and service compared to pre-pandemic healthcare delivery. It is also worth noting that NHS England have suspended data collection for some of their performance statistics, including delayed transfers of care.

In March 2019, the Clinically-Led Review of NHS Access Standards Interim Report was released, proposing some significant changes to many of the targets reported on here. A six-month Progress Report from the NHS Medical Director was also published in October 2019. Field testing of the proposed new standards began in 2019 and NHS England consulted on the recommendations for urgent and emergency care.

For urgent and emergency care, the field test sites have not been submitting four-hour performance data since May 2019. The time series presented here excludes the field testing sites and so is comparable across months and years. For elective care, performance of the field test sites will continue to be included in the national time series, so the data is fully comparable over time.

For interactive charts showing the quality of health and social care over time, please refer to our 200+ indicators.