The NHS waiting list is at a record high across in England and may go even higher according to the health minister, as the service celebrates its 75th anniversary.

New figures show more than 7.4 million people are waiting for treatment, but health minister Maria Caulfield has claimed that waiting times are down.

"To patients, what matters is how long they’re waiting," she told Sky News. 

"They’re not really worried about who else is on the waiting list. They want to know when their procedure or operation is happening, and we’ve significantly reduced that delay.

"We’ve virtually eliminated a two-year wait."

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Despite Ms Caulfield's claims, one in two people in Hertfordshire, totaling 61,738, are now waiting more than 18 weeks for NHS treatment, according to the latest figures.

But as the NHS celebrates 75 years, the health minister believes that the Conservative Government has protected the service despite recent struggles.

"We are investing now and building a workforce for the future, so I’m very confident that in 25 years’ time the NHS will be thriving," said Ms Caulfield.

"They’ve always said a Conservative government won’t protect the NHS and yet we’ve been in government for 48 years of those 75.

"We’re now seeing record levels of investment into staff into our infrastructure with our new surgical hubs, community diagnostic centres, new hospitals, but also the way we treat people as well."