NHS performance data for June is again showing greater demand across both urgent and emergency care and elective areas, as well as the service's continued failure to hit key waiting times and cancer targets.

The figures show a 3.7 percent increase in emergency admissions, a 6 percent rise in diagnostic testing, and 4 percent growth in consultant-led treatment.

A&E attendances were up 3.3 percent, and 90.5 percent of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival, falling below the 95 percent standard. 

In the case of elective care, standards were met for six of the eight cancer standards, but the 85 percent standard for 62-day cancer waiting times was not met, with just 82.7 percent of patients beginning a first definitive treatment within 62 days from an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer. 

Similarly, the 93 percent standard for two week wait referrals for patients with breast symptoms (where cancer not initially suspected) was not met, with 91.9 percent of patients being seen by a consultant within 14 days from an urgent GP referral.

Also of note, there were 171,298 days of delayed transfers of care in June 2016, compared to 139,538 in June 2015, marking a hefty rise of 23 percent during the period, indicating a lack of cohesion between the different factions of care.

Commenting on the performance figures, Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said they "once again illustrate the strain the NHS is under to maintain timely access to high standards of care in the face of huge financial pressures".

"The recent and important relaxation of some targets, and of the penalties for missing them, will give many hospitals much-needed opportunity. We now need the Government to incentivise greater coordination between local authorities and the NHS and to invest more in out-of-hospital health and care."