Hundreds more patients joined the waiting list for routine treatment at Bolton Trust in April, figures reveal.

NHS England statistics show 26,004 patients were waiting for non-urgent consultant-led care at Bolton Hospital at the end of April, 344 more than 25,660 the month before.

The figure was also a ​26 per cent increase on the 20,695 on the waiting list in April last year.

NHS rules state that patients referred for non-urgent consultant-led elective care should start treatment within 18 weeks.

But the figures show 2,762 had been waiting more than a year for treatment at Bolton Hospital in April ­— down from 3,132 in March but far higher than the 72 who had been waiting this long in April last year.

There were even 16 patients on the list who had been waiting for more than two years at the end of April.