MORE than £2 million of extra government funding has been ploughed into Worcestershire to help clear the backlog of patients waiting for operations.

The county's three Clinical Commissioning Groups - the organisations responsible for organising and paying for NHS services across Worcestershire - have been allocated £2,028,000 from a £250 million pot of funding announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt this week.

Announcing the funding, Mr Hunt said it was "unacceptable" that some people were waiting a year or longer for an operation.

Earlier this month it was revealed 1,612 people in Worcestershire have been waiting longer than the NHS-mandated 18 weeks for a non-urgent operation.

Although this is the lowest number since January, and more than 350 fewer than the previous month, this figure steadily increased throughout 2013.

NHS England figures have shown more than 3.2 million people across the country are currently waiting for an operation, the most for six years, with 521 waiting more than a year.

A Department of Health spokesman said the cash would be used to perform an extra 100,000 operations throughout the summer.

NHS England has also announced it will dish out £2 million to charities including the British Red Cross, Age UK and the Royal Voluntary Service to help support the NHS during the winter - traditionally the busiest time of year for the health service.