Patients in some areas who need hip replacements and other orthopaedic operations are still having to wait more than two years for NHS treatment, figures show.
Almost one in four waits longer than 12 months for an operation after referral by their GP.
For 3 per cent, the delay is twice that.
The average wait is 40 weeks – ten weeks longer than across all specialties.
The figures on Health Service performance were published as part of a progress report on the Government’s pledge to treat all patients in 18 weeks.
Just 35 per cent of those needing hospital admission hit this target, according to estimates for the first three months of this year.