Improvements in NHS waiting lists have been revealed by new data from the government.
Figures from the Department of Health for September show that the total number of people who have been waiting more than a year for NHS hospital treatment is down to 1,600 from more than 20,000 in the same month last year.
NHS analyst Rob Findlay stated it is a "fantastic achievement", but told BBC News that he has some reservations about the accuracy of the data.
He said: "A year ago there were a lot of data errors. The majority of the reduction is down to data cleaning."
Commenting on the results, health minister Lord Howe insisted that the NHS is performing well for its patients, describing average waiting times as "low and stable".
Figures revealed by the Department of Health showed 92.2 per cent of admitted patients and 97.4 per cent of non-admitted patients started treatment within 18 weeks.
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