The number of patients waiting for care in hospital in England last week hit a record 4.59 million.

NHS bosses believe they need to receive £8 billion in 2021-22 over and above the service’s main budget, which covers its day-to-day running costs. That is to cover expenses the pandemic has thrown up, such as Covid testing for frontline staff, personal protective equipment and infection control measures.

Will this backlog lead to more waiting list initiatives whereby public patients are referred to private providers?