Tackling the NHS backlog risks another Mid Staffs scandal, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned.

The Commons Health Select Committee chairman feared the mammoth challenge of clearing waiting lists in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic could trigger a separate crisis.

A public inquiry led by Sir Robert Francis QC blasted the “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people” at Stafford Hospital between January 2005 and March 2009.

Delivering his report, he said: “They were failed by a system which ignored the warning signs and put corporate self-interest and cost control ahead of patients and their safety.”

Mr Hunt told the Sunday Times: “My biggest fear is that we will end up with such huge pressure to reduce waiting lists that we will lose the focus on safety and quality.

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