An estimated 4.3 million people were expecting hip and cataract surgeries in late September, when hospitals should treat patients within 18 weeks.
DELAYS for routine surgeries are at their lowest level since January 2009, show NHS England data.
About 4.3 million people were waiting for hip and cataract surgery at the end of September.
Hospitals are meant to treat patients who need non-urgent care within 18 weeks – but 13.3%, or about 570,000, have been waiting longer.
This is the worst performance at the end of a decade when the figure was 14.5%.
Emergency admissions reached a record high last month, with 542,435 – an increase of 5.7% in a year.
Tom Sandford of the Royal College of Nursing said, "Everywhere you look, you see our health system flamboyant."
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Rob Harwood of the British Medical Association said: "We are no longer experiencing just one winter crisis in the NHS – now it is a real crisis all year round.
"These numbers should ring the alarms of the NHS and the government as we approach winter."
NHS England said: "The NHS continues to care for a growing number of people who need our care."