NHS England figures showed that over 3.2 million patients were awaiting treatment on the health service - the highest level in six years.
The statistics showed that 521 people had been waiting for over a year to start treatment and come as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a £250 million drive to eliminate "unacceptable" 12 month waits.
By the end of June, 93.8% of patients were facing waits of up to 18 weeks, NHS England figures showed.
The statistics confirmed the findings of an influential think tank which last month showed that waiting lists were at their highest level in six years.
The King's Fund report said that "cracks are beginning to appear" in performance due to growing financial pressures.