A higher proportion of patients are being treated at an NHS hospital within an 18-week target, according to NHS South of England.
The regional organisation said: “Patients in the South of England are getting ever more prompt hospital treatment as waiting times continue to shorten for operations and outpatient appointments.
“Across the South, target waiting times are being met and exceeded, so that the overwhelming majority of NHS patients have their treatment within 18 weeks of their GP referring them.
“For hospital outpatient appointments, the percentage being seen within 18 weeks has been climbing month on month, from 95.9 per cent in December to 97.2 per cent this April.
“The national target is set at 95 per cent.
“Patients who need an operation and a stay in hospital are also being treated well within target waiting times.
“In December 91.2 per cent were being treated within 18 weeks, rising to 92 per cent in April.
“The national target here is 90 per cent.
“Average waiting times are also continuing to fall in the South of England.”
Liz Redfern, director of nursing at NHS South of England, said: “This strong performance is about making a real difference to patients and their experience of the NHS.
“We know how important it is to patients and their families that they get prompt treatment.
“The NHS Constitution, which is a charter setting out the rights and responsibilities of patients and the NHS, is quite clear that patients have a right to be treated within 18 weeks of their GP referring them.
“In the South of England, we want to see every patient being treated within 18 weeks, unless it is their own choice to wait or unless, in certain rare cases, it is clinically better that their treatment does not take place in this timescale.”