NHS Lothian forced to provide waiting time documents

NHS Lothian has been forced to hand over confidential papers which could reveal full details of how patient waiting lists were rigged.

Health Secretary Alex Neil demanded total transparency from the board after it was claimed the chairman had planned to provide only limited details of private board meetings to Scotland’s public sector watchdog, Audit Scotland.

Mr Neil immediately sent an official to inform Dr Charles Winstanley that his board must now supply officials with full minutes, agendas and background briefing papers from private board meetings dating back to 2010.

Dr Winstanley said he had complied with the request.

It emerged in December 2011 that NHS Lothian had manipulated waiting times by offering patients treatment at short notice in England, but if they could not attend they were marked as unavailable.